President Trump, Senators: Do Your Job
February 16, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Bipartisan proposals to provide certainty for Dreamers fared considerably better than enforcement-heavy, hardline bills in the Senate Thursday, but President Trump’s veto threat proved fatal.
The result leaves Dreamers in limbo ahead of the president’s March 5th deadline he set for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It also maintains the status quo regarding border security.
A bipartisan proposal from Sens. Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota) and Angus King (I-Maine) received 54 votes, while Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-Iowa) version of the enforcement-heavy White House immigration framework was defeated 60-39. The results reflect support on both sides of the aisle and across the country for a permanent solution for Dreamers and enhanced border security.
Support for the immigration policies included in the bipartisan proposals is broad and deep. Evangelical and law enforcement leaders sent letters to members of Congress this week, expressing strong support for family immigration and concern about harmful sanctuary city policies, respectively. Additionally, top business leaders and organizations have urged Congress to support immigration policies that keep families together and provide a permanent solution for Dreamers.
Several senators who had supported bipartisan solutions previously — this year and/or in 2013 — voted no on bipartisan solutions Thursday: Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Dean Heller (R-Nevada), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), and John Hoeven (R-North Dakota). Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) was the only Republican senator to vote for a bipartisan solution yesterday who did not support one in 2013.
Also counterproductive: a politicizing statement Thursday from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said “undermine[s] confidence in DHS and make[s] one question whether they can rationally engage with the Congress on this issue.”
“It’s extremely disappointing that senators from both parties failed to vote for the bipartisan Rounds amendment,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “The administration also undercut the process, sacrificing not only solutions for Dreamers but also the administration’s goals for border security.
“Despite the failure of the Senate and our president to agree on a constructive solution, Americans’ support for bipartisan immigration legislation is not up for debate.”