Senate kills 4 Immigration bills, debate continues

This Thursday the Senate killed four immigration bills, including a bipartisan proposal, and a Republican proposal to offer legal protections to undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, also known as DREAMers.

The latest vote continues the state of limbo we have seen regarding DACA. On March 5, the White House plans to rescind legal protections for individuals impacted by DACA.

The bipartisan bill was unveiled Wednesday night by 16 senators and would have reached a consensus on a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers, and extended $25 billion to strengthen border security, and limit family-based, or chain migration.

“This is the only bill that has a chance to get through the United States Senate,” Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, a lead sponsor of the bill told reporters before Thursday’s vote. 

The Administration voiced opposition to the bill on Twitter, issuing the following statement, and threatening to veto the bill if it got passed.

This position was met with opposition including Republican members of the Senate, including Senator Lindsay Graham, who urged, “Mr. President you’re being led down a path where you won’t get a result. Reject this kind of engagement with the Congress. What’s wrong with Washington? You give (the Department of Homeland Security) $25 billion of the money they ask for and they slam you.” 

The President has backed a more restrictive Senate bill, which was among the other bills rejected on the floor today. This bill, sponsored by the Senate Judiciary Committee, would have granted citizenship to 1.8 million DREAMers, and allocated additional funding for both the wall and bolstering immigration enforcement.

The bill also included a provision to end “chain migration”, and end the diversity visa lottery, which would have reduced overall legal immigration by 25%.

The Senate also rejected two bills that would create a path to citizenship for DREAMers and improve border security, and one that would withhold funding from “sanctuary cities” which have put local police offers at odds with federal enforcement objectives in some locations


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