(CNSNews.com) - The Senate on Thursday blocked a bipartisan immigration reform proposal by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) that the Department of Homeland Security said would “be the end of immigration enforcement in America.”
The Senate also blocked three other immigration reform proposals, including that of Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.).
“The Schumer-Rounds-Collins proposal destroys the ability of the men and women from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to remove millions of illegal aliens. 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. By halting immigration enforcement for all aliens who will arrive before June 2018, it ignores the lessons of 9/11 and significantly increases the risk of crime and terrorism,” DHS said in a press release.
DHS called it “an egregious violation” of the four pillars of the president’s immigration reform framework.
“Instead of helping to secure the border as the President has repeatedly asked Congress to do, it would do the exact opposite and make our border far more open and porous. It would ensure a massive wave of new illegal immigration by exacerbating the pull factors caused by legal loopholes. By keeping chain migration intact, the amendment would expand the total legalized population to potentially ten million new legal aliens – simultaneously leading to undercutting the wages of American workers, threatening public safety and undermining national security,” DHS said.
Furthermore, the proposal “would effectively make the United States a Sanctuary Nation where ignoring the rule of law is encouraged,” DHS added.
The amendment would “limit DHS enforcement by codifying a ‘priorities’ scheme that ensures that DHS can only remove criminal aliens, national security threats and those who arrive AFTER June 30, 2018 creating a massive surge at the border for the next four months.”
“This immigration enforcement ‘holiday’ until June 30, 2018 will show to the world we are not serious about enforcing our immigration laws as those who arrive here can just stay here consequence free, at a minimum until the next amnesty,” DHS stated.
The proposal prevents the department from building a border wall where it is needed by imposing “unnecessarily onerous environmental and reporting burdens.” It also fails to address “much needed hiring and pay reforms that allow DHS to support the men and women on the frontlines.”
It doesn’t provide “any provisions to deter visa overstays,” which account for about 40 percent of all illegal immigration in the US, and it fails to ensure that drugs like fentanyl don’t enter the country.
The Schumer proposal doesn’t just legalize 3 million Dreamers, “it ensures a path to citizenship for their 6 million parents through the use of a faux-prohibition provision that is likely unconstitutional as well as administratively and judicially impossible to administer.”
Among other things it also gives citizenship to criminal aliens, because “the bars for criminals are overly narrow and the eligibility to waive criminal conduct for applicants is overbroad.”
It expands the maximum age of entry to the U.S. for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to 18 years old, which means it applies to illegals who spent most of their lives in their home countries, came to the U.S. recently, and are not children.
The proposal also extends conditional permanent resident status to certain illegals who have temporary protected status (TPS). It allows people under age 43 today to apply for DACA. “These are not children, and haven’t been for some time,” DHS stated.
In a statement Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) criticized DHS for its press release, saying, “it seems as if DHS is intent on acting less like a partner and more like an adversary. Instead of offering thoughts and advice – or even constructive criticism – they are acting more like a political organization intent on poisoning the well.”
As CNSNews.com previously reported, DHS issued a similar press release on a proposal by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) on Wednesday.
“From the tone of this morning’s document, it appears as if DHS hopes all border security proposals fail. That would be the worst outcome of all,” Graham said.
“I don’t think the staffers who compiled this document served the President very well. As for Secretary Nielsen, I’m incredibly disappointed in her for allowing her office to become so politicized and for allowing something like this to go out,” the senator said. He said statements like the ones DHS issued “undermine confidence in DHS and make one question whether they can rationally engage with the Congress on this issue.”