Immigration Reform Dies in Senate

Four immigration bills were defeated Thursday, sending lawmakers back to square one.

Thomas Gallatin · Feb. 16, 2018

Four immigration reform bills hit the Senate floor on Thursday and all four bills failed to reach the 60-vote threshold needed for passage. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) proposed legislation that most mirrored Donald Trump’s desired plan, and it went down in flames as it garnered fewer than 40 votes. Recall that Trump’s plan would have granted amnesty to 1.8 million illegal alien “Dreamers,” while also ending chain migration and the visa lottery, as well as added funding for the construction of a border wall.

Fourteen Republicans voted against the Grassley plan, including Sen. Ted Cruz (TX), who lamented, “The plans that are before the Senate right now — I think they don’t make any sense at all. We should not be granting citizenship to people here illegally.” He pointedly added, “DACA was just a work permit. Why would Republicans be galloping to the left of Barack Obama?”

After the votes, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) opined, “I don’t think the president helped very much, but the bottom line is the demagogues won again on the Left and the Right.”

So, after all the bipartisan efforts to pass an immigration deal before Trump’s March 5 deadline for the ending of DACA, lawmakers find themselves back at square one. But ironically, even with both Trump and Republicans willing to move to the left by considering some form of amnesty for illegal alien “Dreamers,” Democrats won’t budge on ending the visa lottery or chain migration, and they have cynically reversed course over the last few years regarding funding for a border wall. It’s clear that Democrats have no real desire to stop illegal immigration, nor do they wish to solve the DACA problem when it’s far more useful as a campaign issue. And this is the crux of the entire problem.

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