A leader of SenateDemocrats drive to help millions of immigrants become citizens cast severe doubt on its prospects Monday, as one of President Joe Biden s early priorities seemed in danger of running aground in a Congress his own party controls.
A top Republican senator who’s been pivotal in past efforts to find bipartisan compromise on the issue also expressed pessimism. Together, the comments by Sens. Dick Durbin D-Ill. and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., underscored that immigration remains a complex problem for the two parties to tackle successfully, even with Donald Trump no longer in the White House.
Republican demands to address the surge of young children and families at the Mexican border, plus a lack of needed support in both the House and Senate, were making passage of a comprehensive bill unlikely, Durbin, his chamber’s No. 2 Democratic leader, told reporters.
“I don’t see a means of reaching” legislation in this two-year Congress, said Durbin, a veteran of past efforts to strike a deal on the issue. “I want it. I think we are much more likely to deal with discrete elements” of such a plan.
Yet in the same conversation, Durbin said it would be difficult even dealing with individual, broadly popular immigration proposals, such as forging a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers — U.S. residents brought to the country illegally as children.