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Senate may vote on immigration legislation including DACA in January

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Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Credit:

The decision on whether to extend Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be taken up next month if negotiators come a to consensus in January, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday, reported.

“There are bipartisan discussions in the Senate, involving the administration, about improving border security, interior enforcement and reforming important parts of our broken immigration system, including addressing the unlawfully established Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program,” McConnell said. “If negotiators reach an agreement on these matters by the end of January, I will bring it to the Senate floor for a free-standing vote.”

McConnell’s statement has come after Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) confirmed that there will be a vote on immigration. Flake made the statement after voting for the tax bill on Wednesday morning.

“While I would have written a much different bill, this bill lowers the corporate tax rate in a manner that makes us globally competitive. I am also pleased that the Majority Leader has committed to bring the bipartisan DACA bill we are currently negotiating to the Senate floor in January,” Flake said, reported.

In September, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it is discontinuing the Obama-era DACA program. “On Sept. 5, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiated the orderly phase out of the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA),” USCIS said in September. “DHS will provide a limited, six-month window during which it will consider certain requests for DACA and applications for work authorization, under specific parameters.”

Beneficiaries of the program who are in the 2-year period are allowed to keep their work authorizations and other benefits of the program till their two years period is valid. On renewal requests, the department had said, “We are only adjudicating DACA renewal requests received by Oct. 5, 2017, from current beneficiaries whose benefits will expire between Sept. 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018.”

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