Washington: The US Senate has summarily blocked four proposals to resolve the fate of Dreamers, leaving hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants in America facing an uncertain future. A bipartisan bill from a group led by Maine Republican Susan Collins on Thursday fared best, garnering 54 votes, six short of the 60 needed to be assured of passage.
It provided a path to citizenship for 1.8 million undocumented youths, along with $25 billion to pay for the wall Trump wants built on the US-Mexico border. Just hours before Thursday’s voting, the White House said that Trump’s advisers urged him to veto that bill if it reached his desk, Efe news reported. Trump has been insisting that in exchange for helping the Dreamers, Democrats and moderate Republicans must not only fund the wall, but also agree to substantial new limits on legal immigration.
Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley submitted legislation embodying Trump’s preferences, but it received only 39 votes, as 14 members of the Republican majority joined all the Democrats in opposition. “This vote is proof that President Trump’s plan will never become law. If he would stop torpedoing bipartisan efforts, a good bill would pass,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said afterward. The winding-down of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) plan that roughly covers 700,000 and was implemented in 2012 by then-President Barack Obama, is expected to begin by March 5.
However, several federal judges have issued injunctions to extend the program past the deadline pending final court decisions on a raft of legal challengers to Trump’s decision to scrap the initiative. The Senate majority leader, Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell, sought to reassure people that Thursday’s outcome does not doom any chance of addressing the plight of the Dreamers. “This does not have to be the end of our efforts to resolve these matters,” he said.