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Senate conservatives propose tough restrictions on ‘Dreamers’

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Conservative Republicans in Congress on Monday unveiled their ideas for what should happen to so-called ‘Dreamer’ immigrants when an Obama-era program expires in March, touting tougher restrictions than those proposed by Democrats.

The bill offered by Republican Senators Thom Tillis and James Lankford was in response to President Donald Trump’s move to end former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Trump gave Congress six months to write replacement legislation.

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DACA temporarily shielded from deportation certain undocumented immigrants, known as ‘Dreamers,’ who were brought to the United States as children by family, many from Central America. The program allows work permits and other protections for around 800,000 people.

The Tillis-Lankford measure would bar Dreamers from applying for citizenship for at least 15 years and would cover fewer people than a Democratic proposal.

Trump has previously voiced support of a Democratic “Dream Act” bill, but wants to add new border security measures to it. Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer and top House of Representatives Democrat Nancy Pelosi have said that in a meeting with Trump they had discussed a path to citizenship for Dreamers after eight years.

Lankford told reporters at a press conference that he recently had a long telephone conversation with Trump and briefed him on the legislation he and Tillis were crafting.

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Trump “was very supportive of the concepts, saying that is the right way to go,” said Lankford.

Democrats are waiting for the White House to publish a list of ‘principles’ to guide Dreamer legislation. It was not clear whether those principles would be influenced by the Republicans’ bill.

Senator Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Senate Democrat who has been pushing Dreamer legislation for 16 years, said the Republicans’ bill “falls short” because it “excludes tens of thousands of Dreamers” and would require those that do qualify to waive certain legal rights that could allow for deportations without due process.

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Nevertheless, there is bipartisan hope in Congress that differences can be ironed out now that Trump, who anchored his 2016 presidential campaign on an anti-immigration platform, says he wants to protect the Dreamers.

“These are kids that literally do not have a home anywhere,” Lankford said.

“They do not remember a home country they came from originally. They are not really considered (at) home here … In American law we don’t hold children accountable for the actions of their parents.”

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(Reporting By Richard Cowan, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Former four-star general speculates whistleblower scandal could involve Trump giving Putin an American

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It remains unclear exactly what were the issues cited by the whistleblower who expressed concern at actions of President Donald Trump as a threat to national security, at least one of which involved a promise the president allegedly made in a phone call with a foreign leader.

But former Gen. Barry McCaffrey had a chilling thought about what it could possibly be — and posted his speculation on Twitter:

SHEER SPECULATION. Is it possible that the WHISTLEBLOWER issue was Trump discussing with Putin handing over our former US Ambassador to Moscow Mike McFaul to Russian authorities? https://t.co/0PnQn0upiA

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House Judiciary Committee considering vote to hold Corey Lewandowski in contempt of Congress: report

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On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that the House Judiciary Committee is considering a vote to hold President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in contempt of Congress, after a lengthy hearing on Wednesday in which Lewandowski aggressively attacked members of the committee and admitted that he routinely lies to media outlets.

This development comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told members of her caucus that she supports holding Lewandowski in contempt.

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‘This person has to be very senior’: Ambassador McFaul breaks down two possible whistleblower motivations

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America's former ambassador to Russia on Thursday broke down what we know about the whistleblower alleging wrongdoing by President Donald Trump.

Ambassador Michael McFaul was interviewed by MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber on "The Beat."

"In my understanding, have -- having worked closely with the intelligence community, when I was in the government -- nobody that I know would go to these steps unless there was something really serious. This is not about the inappropriate use of classified material," McFaul noted. "It’s something much bigger."

"We’re talking about someone who is at a senior enough level to have this level of access, who knows the rules and knows they can lose their job or worse," Melber noted.

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