At long last, US Senate debates 'Dreamer' immigrants' future

The US Senate began a major, free-for-all immigration debate, its first in nearly five years, on Monday evening that could decide the fate of at least 700,000 Dreamer immigrants, brought into the country illegally years ago as children.

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) The US Senate began a major, free-for-all immigration debate, its first in nearly five years, on Monday evening that could decide the fate of 700,000 "Dreamer" immigrants, young people brought into the country illegally years ago as children.

Under an order issued last year by Republican President Donald Trump, the Dreamers could be deported after March 5, a deadline that will loom behind the rare Senate debate, in which no single bill will be the centerpiece and a range of ideas will be in play.

By forcing the deadline on Congress with his September order, Trump drove a sharp wedge between Democrats and Republicans on an emotionally charged issue. The rhetoric around the debate was running.