Speed Reads

Immigration Reform?

A bipartisan group of senators has been quietly working on a DACA deal

Immigration remains very much in the headlines, but the prospect of a comprehensive reform bill — including a solution to the plight of young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, who were previously protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) — has dimmed since two plans failed in the Senate in February.

Nevertheless, a bipartisan group of senators has been talking behind the scenes, Politico reports, about what it would take to assemble an immigration package that could actually make it into the law books. "There's a number of us who, on a bipartisan basis, are meeting — our staff are meeting and talking," said Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.). "I still think there's a path."

What that path might look like isn't clear, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has indicated he will only devote limited Senate floor time to viable immigration legislation that could conceivably reach the president's desk. Trump, meanwhile, is a wild card, as he has taken a wide range of views on DACA and opposed the more bipartisan of the two measures that failed in February.

Whether the Senate gets a plan together or not, several immigration bills will come to a vote in the House next month, and court decisions on the administration's immigration policies, most notably Trump's decision to end DACA, could force the Senate to address the issue. "Either the House sends us something or the court sends us something and suddenly we have to do something," Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) told Politico. "I don't want to be standing there saying we've been doing nothing for months."