Four Up, Four Down on Senate Immigration Proposals

Bipartisan, Democratic, Republican amendments all blocked

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., right, and Senate minority leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., were not able to convince enough senators on the other side of their respective aisles to advance any of the immigration proposals. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate voted down all four immigration proposals in front of it on Thursday, failing to cut off debate on each one of them and leaving the chamber at a loss on how to proceed, eventually, on the high-profile issue.

First up was a motion to cut off debate on a proposal from Arizona Republican John McCain and Delaware Democrat Chris Coons to provide conditional permanent residence to recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program if they meet certain qualifications, and would authorize $110 million annually, for fiscal 2018 through fiscal 2022, for grants for border security activities in states with international or maritime borders.

It would also authorize the construction of additional ports of entry along U.S. borders and would create temporary immigration judge and Board of Immigration Appeals staff attorney positions, to exist through fiscal 2020.

The Senate rejected that 52-47, with 60 votes required to advance the measure.

Next up was a proposal by Pennsylvania Republican Patrick J. Toomey to cut off grants to so-called sanctuary cities who don’t share immigration information with federal authorities. 

The Senate rejected that attempt to cut off debate 54-45, with 60 votes required for it to proceed.

Third up? That would be a bipartisan immigration deal from South Dakota Republican Mike Rounds and Maine independent Angus King and other centrist senators known as the Common Sense Coalition that would appropriate the wall money over 10 years and create a 10- to 12-year path to citizenship for Dreamers, but does not include some of the limits on family immigration the president is seeking. 

That went down also 54-45, with the requisite 60 votes needed to cut off debate. 

To round things up, the chamber also blocked a Republican proposal by Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, backed by the president that would grant 1.8 million “Dreamers” a path to citizenship and provide $25 billion for a border wall and security improvements.

The action came on a 39-60 vote. Sixty votes were needed to invoke cloture.

Grassley’s proposal mirrored Trump’s framework to provide a path to citizenship for Dreamers brought to the United States as children in exchange for border security funding. It would also end family-based immigration or “chain migration” and phase out a diversity lottery program. Democrats considered the restrictions on family-based immigration a nonstarter.

Watch: Pelosi Asks For Action on Immigration

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