Senate Rejects Grassley Immigration Bill Which Mirrors Trump’s Immigration Framework

Melanie Arter | February 15, 2018 | 11:58pm EST
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( - In a vote of 39-60, the Senate on Thursday rejected an immigration reform proposal by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that was based on President Donald Trump’s immigration reform framework.

The measure was one of four that was rejected by the Senate, including two bipartisan bills -- one by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) and another by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) that were criticized by the Department of Homeland Security.

Both bills were opposed by the White House, because they failed to deliver on the president’s "four pillars" immigration framework -- legal status for 1.8 million dreamers in exchange for $25 billion in border security, including a wall; an end to chain migration; and major changes to the diversity visa lottery.

Grassley’s bill -- the Secure and Succeed Act -- only mustered 39 votes, while the "bipartisan" McCain and Schumer measures received over 50 votes each.

Fourteen Republicans voted against Grassley's Trump-endorsed plan, including: Barrasso (Wyo.), Collins (Maine), Cruz (Texas), Daines (Mont.), Enzi (Wyo.). Flake (Ariz.) Inhofe (Okla.), Kennedy (La.), Lee (Utah), Moran (Kan.), Murkowski (Alaska), Paul (Ky.), Sasse (Neb.), and thune (S.D.).

Some of the Republicans voting against the plan, including Sen. Ted Cruz, said voters did not elect Republicans to give amnesty to illegal immigrants. Other Republicans had their own proposals and said the Grassley plan couldn't get enough Democrat votes. It ended up getting the fewest votes, in fact.

Three Democrats voted for the Trump-endorsed plan: Manchin (W.Va.), Heitkamp (N.D.), and Donelly (Ind.).

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement after the vote, blaming “Schumer Democrats” for the Grassley bill’s failure.

“Today, the Schumer Democrats in the Senate demonstrated again that they are not serious about DACA, they are not serious about immigration reform, and they are not serious about homeland security. They filibustered a proposal with an extremely generous path to citizenship because it also contained reforms that secured our border and secured our immigration system,” Sanders said.

“The Grassley bill was a compromise bill—as demonstrated by the fact that some conservatives opposed its very generous DACA provisions.  Yet, the Schumer Democrats chose to filibuster it because they are held hostage by the radical left in their party, which opposes any immigration control at all,” she said.

Sanders said the Schumer Democrats “sided with an extreme fringe over the hardworking men and women of the Department of Homeland Security.”

“The Administration will continue advocating for an immigration package that includes border security, ending chain migration, cancelling the visa lottery, and a reasonable DACA solution—a proposal Americans support overwhelmingly,” she said.

"And while radical Schumer Democrats align themselves with the open border fringe, the Trump Administration will continue advocating for the American people.  The next step will be for the House to continue advancing the proposal from Chairman Goodlatte and Chairman McCaul,” Sanders said.’

Sanders was referring to the Securing America's Future Act (H.R. 4760), a bill by Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) and Martha McSally (R-Ariz.).

According to Goodlatte’s website, the bill “bolsters enforcement of existing immigration law, makes important reforms to our legal immigration programs, secures the border, and provides a legislative solution for the current beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.”

It offers Dreamers “a 3-year renewable legal status, while ensuring that gang members, individuals who have criminal convictions, or convictions in juvenile court for serious crimes are not eligible for legal status.”

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