(UPI) — The Senate on Thursday rejected two immigration proposals seeking funding for a border wall and protection for millions of young undocumented immigrants.
Senators were unable to gather the 60 votes needed to pass a bipartisan bill which would have provided $25 billion in border security and offered a path to citizenship for about 2 million undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children who meet the requirements of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The Senate voted 54-45 in favor of the legislation, six votes shy.
The Department of Homeland Security released a statement condemning the bill sponsored by a bipartison group of senators including Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Mike Rounds, D-S.D., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, saying it violates the four pillars of immigration reform highlighted in President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.
“The Schumer-Rounds-Collins proposal destroys the ability of the men and women from the Department of Homeland Security to remove millions of illegal aliens,” the DHS wrote. “It would be the end of immigration enforcement in America and only serve to draw millions more illegal aliens with no way to remove them.”
Trump cited the DHS statement in a tweet Thursday referring to the bill as a “total catastrophe.”
“It creates a giant amnesty (including for dangerous criminals), doesn’t build the wall, expands chain migration, keeps the visa lottery, continues deadly catch-and-release, and bars enforcement even for FUTURE illegal immigrants,” Trump wrote. “Voting for this amendment would be a vote AGAINST law enforcement, and a vote FOR open borders.”
…lottery, continues deadly catch-and-release, and bars enforcement even for FUTURE illegal immigrants. Voting for this amendment would be a vote AGAINST law enforcement, and a vote FOR open borders. If Dems are actually serious about DACA, they should support the Grassley bill!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2018
Trump also called on the chamber to instead vote for a measure introduced by a group of Republican senators including Chuck Grassley of Iowa.
The amendment — based on a prior proposal by the president that provided a path to citizenship to those eligible for DACA and funds for the border wall while limiting family-based migration to the nuclear family and reallocating the Diversity Visa Lottery program — also failed to clear the senate by a vote of 39-60.
Trump announced plans to end the DACA program last year, giving Congress until March 5 to pass a legislative fix. The deadline has been complicated by a pair of federal court decisions stating the White House hasn’t provided legally adequate reasons to end the program.
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