Caricature by DonkeyHotey flic.kr/p/Ct4G4K https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
You had an inkling of how this would fall out earlier today when Mitch McConnell announced that President Trump’s plan presented the best way forward on how to address the issue of DREAMers.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, backed legislation to encompass Trump’s “four pillars” of an immigration overhaul, which include plans to build the wall, end the visa lottery program and impose curbs on visas for the families of legal immigrants.
“This proposal has my support and during this week of fair debate I believe it deserves support of every senator who’s ready to move beyond making points and actually making a law,” McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor.
The Trump “pillar” of immigration that is easiest for Democrats to accept is protecting some 1.8 million Dreamers who were brought illegally to the United States as children. Many Democrats are reluctant to help fund Trump’s long-promised wall, which is aimed at keeping out illegal immigrants but is seen by many lawmakers as too expensive and inefficient.
While I don’t like the idea of expanding DACA coverage to some 1 million or so people who are just so devoted to America that they couldn’t be bothered to enroll in a program that lets them work legally, I’ll give that in exchange for major enhancements in border security an end to chain migration and the demolition of the corrupt and un-American visa lottery system.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton, interviewed on Fox News, said Trump’s immigration plan “is not an opening bid for negotiations. It’s a best and final offer.”
To give Dreamers a path to citizenship we need a narrow Senate bill with NO poison pills or anti-immigrant policies. Dreamers should not be used as a bargaining chip for Republicans’ immigration wish list. #ProtectDreamers
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) February 12, 2018
One of the poison pills she’s referring to is an amendment put forward by Mitch McConnell that would severely limit the ability of jurisdictions to declare themselves sanctuaries.
In case you didn’t think Congress was absurd before, Senate Democrats are now filibustering the open immigration debate they asked for, and are refusing to put their bill on the floor.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) February 13, 2018
— The Hill (@thehill) February 13, 2018
— Leader McConnell (@SenateMajLdr) February 13, 2018
The Democrats don’t want a solution for DREAMers because they think the issue is much more potent as a fundraising tool and a way to galvanize their base. The GOP isn’t all that interested either because getting vulnerable Red State Democrat Senators on record opposing border security will be worth its weight in gold come November.
Tomorrow morning, McConnell says he’s going to start voting on bills. The first to make 60 votes is the winner. Good luck with that.
Following Leader remarks tomorrow (at approximately 10:30am), the Senate will proceed to a roll call vote on the motion to proceed to H.R.2579, the vehicle for Immigration.
— Senate Cloakroom (@SenateCloakroom) February 13, 2018