Posted on December 5, 2022

Finally, a Bipartisan Deal to Help the ‘Dreamers’ Is Within Reach

Greg Sargent, Washington Post, December 5, 2022


Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have reached an agreement on a draft framework of immigration reform compromises, sources familiar with the situation tell me. They involve issues such as the fate of “dreamers” brought here illegally as children and the processing of asylum seekers at the southern border. {snip}

A white paper laying out this Tillis-Sinema blueprint is circulating on Capitol Hill, congressional aides and advocates plugged into the talks tell me. Though the details are in flux, here’s a partial list of the major items it contains:

  • Some form of path to citizenship for 2 million dreamers.
  • A large boost in resources to speed up the processing of asylum seekers, including new processing centers and more asylum officers and judges.
  • More resources to expedite the removal of migrants who don’t qualify for asylum.
  • A continuation of the Title 42 covid-health-rule restriction on migrants applying for asylum, until the new processing centers are operational, with the aim of a one-year cutoff.
  • More funding for border officers.

The idea behind this compromise is this: It gives Democrats protections for 2 million dreamers and beefed up defenses of the due process rights of some migrants. It gives Republicans faster removal of migrants who fail to qualify for asylum to prevent them from remaining in the country, a continued restriction on applications for the next year and more border security.


It’s hard to say whether 10 Republican senators would back such a deal to get it past a GOP filibuster. This will become harder when Donald Trump and adviser Stephen Miller scream that it represents a massive betrayal by “elites,” as they undoubtedly will, and right-wing media propagandists like Tucker Carlson amplify that toxic message to enrage the base against those senators.

If 10 GOP senators could support this, they’d be drawn from those who are retiring (Sens. Roy Blunt of Missouri and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania) or those willing to challenge the Trump wing of the party (Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska).


{snip} House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who hopes to be the next speaker, has vowed not to pass any immigration reform legislation until he deems the border secured, which will never, ever happen. {snip}

On the other side, however, it’s not clear whether 50 Democratic senators would support such a compromise. {snip}