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>> There's no reason why we should not reach a bipartisan solution this week.>> With budget battles over for now, the US Senate takes up an issue it hasn't seriously considered in nearly five years, immigration. The free wheeling debate, which started late Monday, launched by Senate leader Mitch McConnell, making good on a deal with Democrats that ended last month's three day government shut down.
The burning question then, and now, what to do about the young immigrants brought to the US illegally as children, known as Dreamers. Capitol hill reporter Rick Cowan.>> This is the first time since 2013 that Senators have really dug in into a meaningful protracted debate of immigration.>> On Monday, McConnell got the ball rolling by endorsing President Trump's immigration plan, which would protect some 1.8 million of the dreamers in exchange for heightened border security, and tighter controls on legal immigration.
An idea most Democrats firmly oppose.>> It'd be a gigantic departure from what's been going on. No longer would immigrants who are here legally, and citizens now, would they be able to seek visas for their relatives who are back in foreign countries.>> In contrast, top Senate Democrat, Chuck Schumer, wants a bill narrowly focused on helping Dreamers.
>> Now, is not the time nor the place to reform the entire legal immigration system.>> Trump, last year, rescinded the Obama era program that had shielded Dreamers from deportation. Giving Congress until March 5th to act on their legal status. Democratic senator Chris Coons said on Tuesday he would put forward a plan co-sponsored by Republican senator John McCain.
That would grant legal status to Dreamers who have entered the US since 2013. But without the $25 billion Trump says he needs for his signature border wall with Mexico.>> I think that we should stay on this topic until we get this job done.>> To pass a bill senators would need to find a solution that 60 of them can get behind.
And Cowan says a major hurdle is not knowing what President Trump would ultimately support.>> I think we can get there.>> Any measure adopted by the senate would face tough scrutiny in the house, where speaker Paul Ryan has said he would only bring up a bill that has the full backing of President Trump.