Republican floats compromise on immigration

Greg Nash

Sen. Susan Collins has proposed compromise legislation she hopes could serve as the basis for a deal between congressional Republicans and the White House on President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

The Maine centrist Republican filed an amendment Wednesday that would allow Obama’s 2012 executive action to stand.

{mosads}That executive action set up the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which offers safe harbor to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the country as children and have maintained a clean record.

The Collins proposal would repeal Obama’s executive action from November that would grant de facto legal status to the immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, which would affect up to 5 million immigrants.

The White House has drawn a red line on both executive actions, warning that Obama will veto any legislation sent to his desk that seeks to overturn them.

But there is certainly more support in Congress for overturning the 2014 executive actions than the 2012 actions. Twenty-six House Republicans voted against an amendment attacking the 2012 executive action on DACA.

“I just think it’s not right to send them back to their home countries when many of them haven’t known [any] other home than America and they didn’t make the decision to come here,” Collins said in explaining why she would support keeping that executive action in place. “Their parents brought them here. To me that is the sweet spot to getting this bill passed.”

The fight over the executive actions is taking place on legislation to fund the Department of Homeland Security. Funding is set to lapse on Feb. 27.

“I’m looking for a compromise that can bring an end to this impasse,” Collins told reporters in the Capitol.

On Tuesday, Senate Democrats blocked a House-passed appropriations measure funding the agency and reversing Obama’s executive orders.

She said the goal is to “send a strong response to the president to counter his gross overreach of his executive authority through his issuance of the Nov. 2014 executive order.”

Collins and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) argued at the Senate Republican lunch Tuesday that Republicans should focus only on repealing the 2014 executive order and let the 2012 DACA program stand, The National Review reported.

Cruz, however, has not signed on to Collins’s amendment yet.

She said she hoped to find Democratic co-sponsors but has yet to speak to any potential supporters across the aisle.

“I filed my amendment to show that I’m committed to bringing up an alternative to the bill. My hope is that the Democrats will look at that and perhaps some of them, a few of them, will reach a different conclusion,” she said of the Democratic filibuster blocking debate.

Tags Barack Obama Illegal immigration Immigration Susan Collins Ted Cruz

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