Federal Relations

February 15, 2018

Immigration Stalled Again

The Senate on Thursday effectively failed to move forward with any of four immigration proposals put forward today. This included a Republican proposal backed by President Donald Trump that would grant 1.8 million “Dreamers” a path to citizenship and provide $25 billion for a border wall and security improvements.

The action came on a 39-60 vote to limit debate on an amendment by Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-IA), to an unrelated bill (HR 2579) related to the Administration’s “Four Pillars” proposal  Sixty votes were needed to invoke cloture.

Grassley’s proposal mirrored Trump’s framework to provide a path to citizenship for Dreamers brought to the United States as children in exchange for border security funding. It would also end family-based immigration or “chain migration” and phase out a diversity lottery program. Democrats considered the restrictions on family-based immigration a nonstarter.

The Senate earlier rejected three other immigration proposals, including a bipartisan deal by 16 mostly centrist Senators, calling themselves the “Common Sense Caucus,” that Trump threatened to veto because it did not do enough to limit family-based immigration.

All amendments failed this afternoon.

There was no clear path forward in the House for any of these proposals.