Senate Fails To AdvaSenate fails to advance bipartisan bill for Dreamers

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By Marisa Schultz

The US Senate rejected all the immigration proposals it had to offer on Thursday, leaving lawmakers with no viable plan on how to protect Dreamers from deportation and expand border security.

None of four immigration measures before the Senate got the 60 votes necessary to advance, including a bipartisan proposal from the Common Sense Coalition to spend $25 billion on a border-wall system and grant citizenship for 1.8 million young, undocumented immigrants.

The bipartisan bill failed on a 54-45 vote — with 60 needed for passage — after the White House launched an all-out offensive to kill it, including a veto threat.

Legislation backed by President Trump suffered a worse defeat, with just 39 senators voting yes and 60 no.

It, too, would have granted a path to citizenship for 1.8 million young immigrants, but end chain migration and the visa lottery.

“I think it’s safe to say it’s been a disappointing week,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said after the votes.

He said he kept his commitment to have a fair, open immigration debate, but blamed Democrats for failing to produce a solution. “I held up my end of the bargain,” McConnell insisted.

Senators on both sides of the aisle expressed frustration.

“It looks like demagogues on the left and the right win again on immigration,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who sponsored the bipartisan bill.

Dems blasted the Trump bid to end chain migration — which allows legal immigrants to sponsor relatives for visas — while conservatives panned it as amnesty.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said no Republican got elected pledging to be “to the left of Barack Obama on immigration . . . We should not be granting citizenship to anyone here illegally.”

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said, “This vote is proof that President Trump’s plan will never become law. If he would stop torpedoing bipartisan efforts, a good bill would pass.”

Trump announced last year that he’d end the Obama-era program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and set the date for deportation protections to end on March 5 — a deadline under court challenge.

 

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