The March 5th deadline is near as the Senate can’t find a fix
Florida Dreamers from Key West to Pensacola are going to bed fearing that they will be deported. Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) along with the Trump admiration are blocking bi-partisan legislation in hopes of running out the clock as a March 5th deadline approaches for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is set to expire putting the future of the estimated 800,000 people in limbo.
At this moment the path to passing a bill to save DACA is very much in doubt. Sen. Bill Nelson has been at the forefront of trying to work with Sen. Susan Collins (R- Maine) on a bipartisan bill while Sen. Marco Rubio had this to say via a press release.
“I voted for Senator Grassley’s plan (only 39 senators voted for the bill) because it best represented principles I have and continue to support, including provisions to address young people brought illegally to this country through no fault of their own and strengthen border security and enforcement.
“I strongly considered supporting the Rounds-Collins plan. But I did not support it because it expanded the population of those eligible for protection to include people not covered by or eligible for DACA without providing sufficient border security and enforcement measures.
“In the meantime, I intend to keep working with other Senators on a more limited proposal that would permanently codify DACA’s renewable permits and provide meaningful border security and enforcement measures in the event a House-passed bill cannot pass the Senate and we are left without a broader solution.”
McConnell keeps using procedural maneuvers to tamp down any bill that does not include the $25 billion dollars for a border wall. Those include the three bi-partisan bills that were presented by centrist Republicans.
Yesterday, four bills went to a vote in the Senate, three were bi-partisan efforts, two got 54 votes, six votes shy of the 60 needed for passage. President Trump’s framework for an immigration deal won just 39 votes the lowest of all the bills offered on the Senate floor Thursday.
All four bills introduced on the Senate floor from the Grassley/Trump proposal to McCain-Coons — would have provided a path to citizenship for young people in the United States who are eligible for DACA. An estimated 1.3 to 1.8 million people who had been brought to the country illegally as children would have received protection under that provision.
At the end of the day, the main sticking point falls on the issue of how to get to legal immigration. At one end of Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House wanted substantial legal immigration cuts through changes to family-based migration and the diversity visa program. Those provisions were incorporated into the Grassley plan, but it failed to even get 40 Republican senators to support the legislation.
So for now, senators will return to their home states, having done nothing — yet again — to solve the DACA crisis. This issue will be a tough one to explain away to entire Florida’s Congressional delegation who are likely to hear all about DACA from the constituents.