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Sen. Kaine optimistic on deal to protect Dreamers

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D) visited Leesburg Thursday morning to speak with workers and officials at ECHO, a local nonprofit that provides vocational training, community integration, and comprehensive, individualized disability employment for people with disabilities. Times-Mirror/Trevor Baratko
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine says there are the 60 votes needed in the Senate to permanently protect so-called Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children.

The Senate is expected to vote next week on legislation related to Dreamers, an issue that sparked a three-day government shutdown in mid-January.

“When even the president says there should be a path to citizenship for Dreamers – he's saying that there should be – I think that that's a very doable thing,” Kaine, a Democrat, told the Times-Mirror in an interview Thursday.

But just because there are 60 or more votes to protect and provide a path to citizenship for Dreamers, according to Kaine, a deal is far from finalized. President Donald Trump and Republican leadership, as part of a deal to protect the young immigrants, want additional border security in exchange for a vote.

“We're having very productive discussions about those things,” Kaine said, adding that President Trump wants $25 billion over the next decade for additional border security.

Last month's shutdown ended with Senate Leader Mitch McConnell agreeing to bring a Dreamer proposal to a vote by Feb. 8, which is also the deadline to extend government funding. Government funding, Dreamer legislation, immigration and border security are all tied into the current debate.

Nearly 80 percent of Americans think Dreamers should be allowed to remain in the country and apply for citizenship, according to a January Quinnipiac poll. There are an estimated 12,000 of the young undocumented immigrants in Virginia and anywhere from 800,000 to more than 3 million in the U.S., depending on how the group is defined.

Kaine, Virginia's junior senator and a former vice presidential nominee, said he expects either one comprehensive bill or two bills to be voted on next week: one that would include all of the items – government funding, immigration and border security; or two – one for immigration and border security and one for government funding.

Ongoing funding negotiations have revolved around balancing defense spending with non-defense spending, how much money will go toward border security and whether Congress can agree to a spending plan beyond a one-month stopgap measure.

“What I don't want to do is I don't want to waste money … What we're hearing more from [border security officials] now is a wall would be like a 1980s solution. The 2018 solution would be motion detectors, drones with cameras … ,” Kaine said.

The senator added, “I think we can meet what the president wants to do in terms of the amount of the investment – the $25 billion over 10 years. I just want to make sure that we spend it the right way.”

Kaine's Senate colleague Mark Warner (D) has shared Kaine's view on protecting Dreamers from deportation.

“We know that if the Dream Act were put on the Senate floor for a vote tomorrow, it would pass. So I’ve been working with a bipartisan group of senators to try to negotiate a compromise that would grant Dreamers a pathway to citizenship and increase funding for border security,” Warner said in a statement to the Times-Mirror. “There is a sense of urgency here because more than 12,000 Virginia Dreamers, and nearly 800,000 across the country, are at risk of deportation unless Congress acts.”

When asked, Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-Va.-10th) would not say whether she supports a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers or where she stands on striking a deal to protect the young immigrants.

"The House and Senate along with the administration must come together and find common ground that leads to bipartisan solutions that not only address the DACA issue, but also bolster our critical border security and enforcement issues," Comstock said in a statement. "As the only member in the national capital region to vote against shutdowns in both Democrat and Republican administrations, this issue should not devolve into a government shutdown. Senate Democrats learned, as Republicans have before, that government shutdowns are bad policy and have been rejected by the American people."

Kaine (D) visited Leesburg Thursday morning to speak with workers and officials at ECHO, a local nonprofit that provides vocational training, community integration, and comprehensive, individualized disability employment for people with disabilities.

WATCH:


Check back to LoudounTimes.com for more on Sen. Kaine's visit to Leesburg's Echo.

Comments


Both Congress and Senate did nothing on Illegals/Dreamers over the 3 weeks so get ready for both Kaine and Warner to vote to shutdown Federal Govt Thursday so that Illegals become US citizenship.


Trump is Derp State - Another liberal that thinks he/she is smarter than the founding fathers.

and begin doing the job he was almost elected to perform.


OK Derp…. we shall see.  In the mean time…. when Pelosi and Schmuck were dead set on a deal for DACA and now have gone into a cave b/c they have no where to run… b/c Trump took their wind from their sails… putting the pressure not them to finally make a move instead of TALKING about it.  DEMS DON"T CARE ABOUT DREAMERS….. just votes.  The ability to give 1.8 million illegal aliens citizenship… and all you hear is crickets.  So, tell me DERPY…. what are they going to run on?


God I love the insanity embodied in this comment:

“Dems…they got ZERO else to run on”

Nah, there’s no reason people might begin to think it’s time for Trump to turn off the TV, stop smearing people via Twitter, and begin doing the job he was almost elected to perform.


Dems do NOT want a deal on DACA…. they want to use it for a campaign for mid terms…. they got ZERO else to run on.  Now that POTUS has taken that away, b/c he is the ONLY person to come up with a legit deal for DACA ppl…. they don’t want to accept it.  Now the Dems look like morons b/c they put their hate of POTUS before the immigrants they so call “STAND UP FOR”.  They are such liars and are only looking for VOTES>>> NOT A DEAL


Remember Timmy—Americans Are Dreamers Too!


Poll numbers do not match your statement Muler boy. Stormy looks like a hard working woman more power to her. Money can buy friends and the increase in take home pay is going well for all republicans. Notice he did not discriminate against democrats as their wages have increased also even illegals are earning more.


If these children are still the responsibility of their illegal parents, send the whole family back.  If their parents are gone, then let them apply/register to stay and prove they will be an asset to us.


What did Kaine know as VP candidate with crooked hillary….the explosive memo released today shows corruption at the highest levels of government and Kaine was Clinton’s running mate…spying on the political opposition through a phony dossier prepared by the democrats and used as a political weapon by once distinguished government institutions.  Now forever tainted by Kaine, Comey, McCabe, Clinton, and other democrats….pathetic!!!


Yeah, Jonathan Erickson is absolutely right.  Don’t we all feel better having a self-absorbed, empty-headed, morally unfit, lying self-server as President of the United States.  Doesn’t that make you feel better about yourself, your family and your country?  Don’t you find it easy to explain things like Stormy Daniels to your children as you explain why the President deserves respect but the FBI doesn’t? 

Sorry, Erickson, you’re just different from the 70% of America who is disgusted daily by Trump and his acolytes.


Are you better off now because Kaine has been our Senator for years or because Trump has been President for one year? Kaine gets re-elected and that is the only thing he does well.


“We know that if the Dream Act were put on the Senate floor for a vote tomorrow, it would pass.”  This is a foolish and misleading statement.  I think everyone agrees something has to be done, the problem comes with what and how.  Kane’s own statements reflect this.  He essentially said we agree with giving $25B for security but don’t agree on how to spend it.  So guess what, the bill won’t be passed as he implies.


Start with charging the 800K illegals(some call Dreamers) $25K fee/fine/tax and give them 1 year to complete paperwork. They must have a clean record and have them serve 2 years in military(non combat). That money can go toward better border security and wall. Then need to make drastic changes to other parts, like chain migration and lottery. Currently over 20+ million illegals in US. My biggest problem is most illegals feel they’re entitled and show very little respect for US. Both congress and Senate have had 10-20 years to work on a compromise and have done very little to nothing. Really need 8 year max term limits.


Absolutely, build the wall.  As soon as the first check arrives from Mexico we break ground!  #MAGA (morons are governing America)


Great—vote for what Trump has on the table 1.8M dreaners for ending visa lottery, chain migration and build the wall ($25 Billion)...hopefully Kaine will put the safety and security of Americans over granting citizenship to law breakers….


I really despise the term “Dreamers”. Dreamers are illegal aliens.  I wished the politicians/media would stop using that term.  I think it’s criminal that for about 800 thousand illegals the Democrats disrespect the Federal government workers who far outnumber the illegals.  I think there should be law/executive order that federal workers are not reimbursed for furloughs if the government is shut down.  Also, I believe if a budget is not in place for the start of the fiscal year all Representatives and Congress members, along with their staffs, via law/executive order should not be paid.  They failed to do their job by not financing America.  Take away the money and see what happens to votes.  Sadly, both parties play this game as the cycle of party first politics prevail each administration cycle.


chain migration—are you guys referring to slave ships?


Chucky Schmucky and Pelosi will never sign off on it.


Hmm.  Think you are strategically forgetting the end of chain migration and the visa lotto.  Needed:  Finish the wall, end chain migration and limit to a core family, change visa lotto to merit-based system.  THEN, start the clock on citizenship for just the DACA kids.


Americans have dreams too…

Build the wall, end chain migration, end the visa lottery, no right to vote for 20 years, and then we can strongly consider

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