Senate fails to pass immigration reform bill, again leaving the fate of DACA recipients unknown
The Senate on Thursday failed to pass legislation for the roughly 800,000 undocumented immigrants shielded from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, after three proposals to codify DACA into law failed on the Senate floor.
The three different bills ran the gamut from a simple and bipartisan DACA and border security bill, a Republican bill that mirrored the hardline cuts to legal immigration President Donald Trump demands and another bipartisan compromise that Trump had vowed to veto had it passed.
None of the three bills received the 60 votes necessary to advance. The bipartisan compromise bill that Trump threatened to veto received the most votes, with 54 Senators supporting it.
The Trump-backed bill — crafted solely by GOP senators — received the least, not even garnering a majority of senators at just 39 votes.
A fourth amendment that targets so-called “sanctuary cities” also failed to receive the 60 votes needed to advance.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) gave the Senate a week to come to an agreement on an immigration bill. If the Senate failed, McConnell said he would move on to other issues. That makes it unlikely the Senate will come up with a DACA fix before the program is set to expire on March 5.
It’s unclear what will happen to DACA recipients after that date.
Two federal judges blocked the Trump administration from ending the program on March 5, ruling that the date was arbitrary. However, the Trump administration has appealed one of those rulings to the Supreme Court, which could decide as early as Friday whether to hear the case.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) slammed Trump on Thursday, blaming him for the Senate’s failure to pass a DACA bill.
“President Trump has failed his test of leadership, spectacularly,” Schumer said on the Senate floor after the bipartisan compromise bill went down.