- The Senate failed to reach an agreement on multiple plans for border security and solutions to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program on Thursday.
- As House Republicans move forward with their immigration bill, senators are uncertain about what steps will come next.
WASHINGTON — The Senate failed at several attempts to pass different solutions to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program alongside bolstered border security on Thursday, effectively ending debate on the issue for the foreseeable future.
The White House threatened to veto the bipartisan amendments in a telephone briefing with reporters, calling the proposal from the so-called Common Sense Coalition dead on arrival. A White House official also said they were requesting that Senate offices withdraw their sponsorships of the plan.
The bipartisan amendment, backed by Sens. Chuck Schumer, Susan Collins, and others, would have provided a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants benefitting from DACA and $25 billion for border security.
In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security condemned the Collins-Schumer plan as "
The amendment failed to surpass the 60 vote threshold by a total of 54-45.
"You've got people at the White House who've made it their career to stop immigration reform — the president's not one of those people," said GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, who was a cosponsor of the bipartisan plan. "So the demagogues of the left and the right are gonna win again."
Instead, the White House backed a proposal by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa that would legalize the 1.8 million undocumented immigrants, allot $25 billion for border security upgrades including a wall and fencing along the US-Mexico border, and significantly reduce legal immigration levels by eliminating the diversity lottery and limiting family immigration.
On the Senate floor just before voting began, Grassley called his amendment the "last chance" to provide a pathway to citizenship.
Grassley also shunned the possibility of a potential short-term fix, which lawmakers quickly began to discuss after all the amendments crashed on Thursday.
"As long as the president allows Steve Miller and others to run the show down there, we're never gonna get anywhere," Graham said.