A second Senator and member of the bipartisan working group working to iron out the details of the great immigration compromise bill has confirmed that Democrats and Republicans are on the verge of a deal.
Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake said that, while the group is still working on a border security package, the details of the deal are nearly finalized.
“We’ve got this bipartisan group. We are at a deal. … It’s the only game in town,” Flake told reporters, according to the Hill.
Earlier in the day, Flake’s Democratic colleague Dick Durban, both a member of the working group and the Democratic leadership, said lawmakers were “very close” to a deal, according to a separate Hill report.
Of course, it’s important to take these pronouncements with a grain of salt, as deals that were purportedly “finalized” are reworked again and again.
A spokesman it’s worth noting that Sen. Bob Menendez immediately clarified Flake’s comments. He said that although the group of senators are making progress, they do not yet have an agreement.
“We are extremely close to a strong bipartisan deal to help dreamers. However, nothing is final yet and there is no legislative text to share yet,” the spokesman said.
The group of senators – which also includes Lindsey Graham and Michael Bennet – have been negotiating for months on a deal that would include a DACA fix.
After canceling the so-called DACA protections back in September, Trump famously struck a deal with “Chuck and Nancy” – Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi – to enshrine the DACA protections into law while also securing funding to fortify border defenses.
But this deal unraveled as Democrats insisted they wouldn’t approve funding for Trump’s promised border wall, while Trump walked back his support for DACA, an issue on which he has wavered, though there is bipartisan support for preserving the protections – a decision that will affect 690,000 people, most of whom have spent nearly their entire lives in the US.
The final agreement is expected to include legalization for DACA recipients and a border security package. It’s also expected to address changes to the State Department’s diversity visa lottery program to curb so-called “chain migration” – a practice that Trump has railed against even as outraged liberals have insisted it isn’t a problem.
To be sure, even if the group hammers out an agreement, they don’t have final authority on the deal …read more