Senators introduce three-year DACA, border security deal

Senators introduce three-year DACA, border security deal
© Greg Nash

Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget Jeff Daniels blasts 'cowardice' of Senate Republicans against Trump WANTED: A Republican with courage MORE (R-Ariz.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOn The Money: Stocks sink on Trump tariff threat | GOP caught off guard by new trade turmoil | Federal deficit grew 38 percent this fiscal year | Banks avoid taking position in Trump, Dem subpoena fight Fight over Trump's new NAFTA hits key stretch Former senators launching effort to help Dems win rural votes MORE (D-N.D.) are pairing a short-term fix for a key Obama-era immigration program with three years of border security funding.

The two introduced legislation Tuesday that includes a three-year extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program with $7.6 billion for the Trump administration's border plan.

"I’ll be the first to admit this ‘three-for-three’ approach is far from a perfect solution, but it would provide a temporary fix by beginning the process of improving border security and ensuring DACA recipients will not face potential deportation,” Flake said in a statement.

Heitkamp added that "this is a bipartisan path forward that would fund significant security improvements at our borders and allow Congress to continue to work toward a long-term solution for Dreamers."

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The legislation comes after the Senate rejected three immigration proposals that would have included permanent protections for 1.8 million immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.

Senators are eyeing a short-term fix, potentially dropping the provision into next month's government funding bill, after months of negotiations have failed to break an entrenched stalemate.

Several GOP senators said this week that the most likely path in the Senate would be a years-long provision included in the omnibus, which has to pass by March 24 in order to prevent a shutdown.

"I have a feeling what we may see on this is ... a DACA fix and some border security, a much smaller package, that will be attached to the March 22 spending bill. If I was guessing what was going to happen, I think that's what may happen," Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoGOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Congressional Women's Softball team releases roster Sinema, Gallagher fastest lawmakers in charity race MORE (R-W.Va.), told WRNR, a West Virginia radio station.

Any proposal, either as a stand-alone bill or the mammoth spending bill, would need 60 votes to ultimately clear the chamber.

But it remains unclear if Democrats would embrace a short-term fix that would allow Trump to build part of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. Democratic aides are privately skeptical about accepting a temporary DACA fix in exchange for what would be permanent sections of the wall.

GOP Sens. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneHillicon Valley: Trump takes flak for not joining anti-extremism pact | Phone carriers largely end sharing of location data | Huawei pushes back on ban | Florida lawmakers demand to learn counties hacked by Russians | Feds bust 0M cybercrime group Senate Commerce chair to renew push for regs on self-driving vehicles Hillicon Valley: Facebook co-founder calls for breaking up company | Facebook pushes back | Experts study 2020 candidates to offset 'deepfake' threat | FCC votes to block China Mobile | Groups, lawmakers accuse Amazon of violating children's privacy MORE (S.D.), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget WANTED: A Republican with courage Companies warn Trump trade war is about to hit consumers MORE (Ohio) and Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranOn The Money: Judge upholds House subpoena for Trump financial records | Trump vows to appeal ruling by 'Obama-appointed judge' | Canada, Mexico lift retaliatory tariffs on US | IRS audit rate falls GOP senator calls for resolution of trade dispute: 'Farmers and ranchers are hurting' Frustrated GOP senators want answers from Trump on Iran MORE (Kan.) have also put forward a proposal that would attach legal protections to current DACA recipients to a $25 billion border wall trust fund.

The Trump administration announced last year that it was ending the DACA program, which allows immigrants brought into the country as children to work and go to school without fear of deportation.

Congress initially had a March 5 deadline to pass a fix, but two court decisions have thrown that timeline into limbo.

The Supreme Court, this week, rejected the Trump administration's request to leapfrog over an appeals court and hear their request to overturn an injunction requiring DACA to stay on the books while ligation plays out.