Senate immigration debate quickly stalls

The Senate’s much-anticipated immigration debate stalled on Tuesday with party leaders feuding over how to even begin.

And there may not be much time left to reach a deal, as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate’s work on a solution to the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program would be limited to this week.

“Senators have had plenty of time to prepare,” the Kentucky Republican said. “There’s no reason why we should not reach a bipartisan solution this week. But to do this, we need to get the debate started, look past making political points and focus on actually making law.”

McConnell twice attempted to set up floor votes on a sanctuary cities amendment from Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and a competing proposal chosen by Democrats. But Democrats objected, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) saying the Toomey language “doesn’t address Dreamers, nor does it address border security” — the two basic elements underpinning this week’s debate over the fate of hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants who will soon be at risk of deportation.

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