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Senate immigration debate stalls after Democrats block first GOP amendment

Senate immigration debate stalls after Democrats block first GOP amendment

What was supposed to be an open-ended debate on immigration reform stalled on Tuesday when Democrats objected to the Republican's first amendment, which would punish so-called sanctuary cities.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., blocked a request by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to start by debating the sanctuary city language.

Schumer argued Tuesday that the Toomey bill has nothing to do with the legislation that the two parties hope to pass, which would provide protection for so-called Dreamers in exchange for border security money, changes to chain migration and an end to the visa lottery system.

Republicans said Democrats were free to offer their own amendment, but Schumer said in addition to the amendment his side would offer, he wanted Republicans to take up the immigration reform bill that mirror's President Trump's framework to protect Dreamers in exchange for border security and immigration policy changes.

McConnell's said Democrats are free to offer their own amendments, and said in the meantime that the Toomey proposal addresses "one of the most glaring aspects of our broken immigration system."

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