WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate will not consider an immigration bill as part of year-end legislation but will turn to a measure protecting immigrant youths known as “Dreamers” in January, No. 2 Senate Republican John Cornyn said on Monday.
Speaking to reporters, Cornyn also said that if Congress cannot meet an early March deadline for passing legislation providing the protections against deportation, President Donald Trump could extend that deadline if he chose to do so.
In interviews over the past several days, both Republican and Democratic lawmakers and aides said that talks on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals have been quietly making progress.
“The president has given us enough time to deal with this before March and so I think that’s plenty of time and I expect us to meet it,” Cornyn told reporters, adding, “If we can’t, then the president could extend the deadline if he chose to do so. But this is something we’re going to turn to, I’m sure, in January.”
Tensions between Republicans and Democrats over the issue of legislative protections for undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children increased this fall after Trump took a hard line on the conditions for a deal.
Reporting By Richard Cowan and Susan Cornwell; Editing by Tom Brown