WASHINGTON: The citizenship hopes of 1.8 million immigrants brought to the United States as children hung in the balance Monday as Congress launched debate on the hot-button issue, with President Donald Trump eager to “make a deal” on new legislation, reports AFP.
In offering a path to citizenship for so-called Dreamers, Trump has exceeded the demands of opposition Democrats—but only in exchange for tough cutbacks on overall immigration and funding for a massive wall on the Mexican border.
Trump’s proposal was front and center as senators began an unpredictable course that could yield a long-sought breakthrough on immigration or end in failure—with hundreds of thousands of immigrants at risk of losing their legal protections early next month.
“I hope to be able to make a deal,” Trump said, adding that the Republican Party would “love” to reach an agreement.
“If the Democrats want to make a deal, it’s really up to them.”
On Monday, the Senate easily voted to advance toward a full and open floor debate on immigration, one that could take weeks.
Trump himself is expected to play an influential—but perhaps destabilizing—role in the process. His U-turns on some aspects of the sensitive issue have unsettled Democrats and some Republicans..