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Senate rejects Trump immigration-shutdown bill

The Senate on Thursday rejected President Trump’s immigration compromise to grant temporary legal status to 1 million migrants and allocate money for his border wall.

The plan, which was combined with funding to reopen the government, fell nine votes shy of the 60 needed to clear a filibuster.

Still to come was a vote on a competing Democratic plan that ignores immigration and would reopen the government for two weeks — without any new wall money or legal status for illegal immigrant “Dreamers.”

That, too, was expected to fail, leaving Congress no closer to a solution to the month-old government shutdown.

Republicans had said Mr. Trump’s plan was a reasonable offer and even if Democrats didn’t agree with all the details, overcoming the filibuster would have been a sign they were willing to negotiate.

They said another punt on spending for two weeks made no sense.

“My view is we should fix the problem now through the end of the fiscal year and not go through this exercise again,” said Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican. “It would take about 30 minutes for fair-minded people of goodwill to work this out.”

Republicans also said Mr. Trump’s plan was the only one he’s willing to sign, since the White House has threatened to veto bills that don’t include border wall money.

Democrats, though, said the Senate should test the president’s resolve and send him legislation to reopen the government.

They have said border security negotiations can come later — though they’ve sent mixed signals about whether they would be willing to negotiate over his $ 5.7 billion wall-building plan.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called walls immoral and ruled out any discussions, but other top Democrats have at least seemed open to talks. Still, Democrats are mostly united in saying they want the government to reopen before they’ll engage in talks.

The GOP plan, in addition to border wall construction, would have created a three-year protection for 700,000 illegal immigrant “Dreamers” covered under the Obama-era DACA program, and another 300,000 immigrants in the country on humanitarian Temporary Protected Status.

It also includes $ 12.7 billion in supplemental disaster relief funding for states that have been affected by recent hurricane and wildfires.

But Democrats said the protections for Dreamers and TPS holders wasn’t generous enough — they want full citizenship rights — and said another part of the plan would prevent some illegal immigrants from claiming asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer called the GOP offer a “harshly partisan proposal.”

“Throughout this debacle, I have not heard one good reason why 800,000 federal employees must be held hostage for us to discuss border security,” said Mr. Schumer, New York Democrat.

Stephen Dinan and Alex Swoyer contributed to this report.

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