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Senate Officially Kicks Off Immigration Debate

The Senate on Monday voted to open up its formal debate on immigration legislation, as Congress inches closer to a March 5 deadline to enshrine legal protections for so-called DREAMers. Bipartisan groups have worked for months to craft a product that could pass muster with the White House and the House of Representatives, but to no avail. The Senate’s free-for-all process is likely to last through much of February, during which time senators will be permitted to offer amendments and, eventually, piece together legislation that could win the necessary 60 votes. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) committed to the open-ended process last month after Senate Democrats forced a government shutdown in order to extract the concession from McConnell. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has said the House will vote on a bill that President Donald Trump supports—Andrew Desiderio