Bipartisan duo push for last-minute immigration deals

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan Senate duo launched a last-minute push to enact immigration reform before the end of the year.

Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Thom Tillis, RN.C., have shared with colleagues what they call a “draft framework” that envisages $25 billion to improve border security in exchange for a path to citizenship around 2 Millions of “dreamers,” young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States by their parents, according to a Senate aide familiar with the effort.

The framework, which sources said is “in flux,” also calls for the extension of Title 42 by at least a year pending the creation of “regional processing centers” along the border that would be given more resources and staff to handle incoming accept asylum seekers. Title 42 is a Trump-era Covid policy that allowed authorities to block asylum seekers from crossing the border into the United States

And the framework, first reported by the Washington Post, would speed up the asylum process by investing in asylum officials, trial teams and immigration judges and courts, the Senate assistant said. It also includes additional investment in deportation operations for immigrants who have fled or received final deportation orders.

Under the proposal, increasing border security would include higher salaries for border guards, as well as more staff and other resources for border guards and border guards.

Passing an immigration bill in the post-election lame duck session would be a tough task for Congress given its lengthy laundry list to deal with in the coming weeks and lawmakers having made no significant progress on the politically sensitive issue in decades.

But Sinema and Tillis, both moderates, have a track record of legislative victories. They teamed up this summer to help pass a major gun reform bill in the wake of the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and were part of a bipartisan group that reached agreement on a religious freedom amendment that paved the way for the Senate to pass legislation to protect the same to say goodbye -sexual marriage.

“They clearly found a winning equation here,” the Senate assistant said.

If they can reach an agreement, immigration reform members hope to attach their proposal to a bill to maintain government funding, which is due to be passed later this month.

“As the author of the Dream Act, I applaud any bona fide effort to provide a pathway to citizenship for these deserving individuals. I have been in touch with my colleagues and will carefully consider their proposal,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., tweeted on Monday.

“I am determined to do whatever it takes to create a Christmas miracle for dreamers.”

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