Senate off to slow start on immigration debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Senate’s immigration debate (all times local):

1:25 p.m.

The Senate is off to a slow start in this week’s immigration debate with the chamber’s Republican and Democratic leaders already at loggerheads on moving forward.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he wants to start the votes Tuesday afternoon.

McConnell has proposed that Republicans bring up an amendment targeting cities that don’t fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Then, Democrats would bring up an amendment of their choosing. Amendments gaining 60 votes would become part of the immigration bill.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has objected.

Schumer wants McConnell to bring up legislation that incorporates President Donald Trump’s priorities and a second, much narrower bill from Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Chris Coons, D-Del.

The disagreement means there could be several more hours of speeches before any votes occur.

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11:20 a.m.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois says Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim’s story is the story of immigration in America.

With the Senate debating immigration, Durbin is invoking the journey of Kim’s father from South Korea to the United States in 1982 with a couple hundred dollars.

Durbin says Chloe Kim showed an interest in snowboarding as a young girl, developing into one of the best in the world and capturing a gold medal for the U.S. in the halfpipe Tuesday.

Durbin says Kim’s family resembles many other immigrants who don’t bring wealth and often don’t bring a proficiency in English. He says “they only come here with a determination to make a better life for themselves and a better country for all of us.”

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8:35 a.m.

A Republican senator who introduced President Donald Trump’s immigration proposal says it’s “the president’s framework bill or nothing.”

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas calls the bill “not an opening bid” for negotiations with Democrats on immigration but the “best and final offer.”

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