Anyone seeking further proof of how disconnected the U.S. Senate is from any kind of reality needs to look no further than yesterday’s immigration debacle. After promising an open debate on the issue where the American public could watch “the greatest deliberative body in the world” cobble together an immigration proposal that would marry a DACA fix with immigration enforcement promises that put President Trump in the White House, the Senate failed to advance anything.
Of the four proposals that made it to the floor for public discussion yesterday, the only one really worth supporting was Senator Pat Toomey’s (R-Pa.) amendment that would have shut down illegal and dangerous sanctuary jurisdictions. Clearly, anyone who cares about public safety would have voted for that, right? Nope. In the end, this modest and mainstream proposal, which passed the House last year, failed to reach the threshold of 60 votes, that would have allowed it to be debated on the floor of the Senate.
The other three proposals all contained varying degrees of amnesty for illegal aliens while falling well short of delivering several key immigration enforcement pledges made to the American public during Trump’s presidential campaign.
What was most shocking was the proposal that emerged from the “common sense caucus,” a group of self-described moderate senators who claim to have their thumbs on the pulse of mainstream America. Their bill would have granted an immediate amnesty to DACA recipients while instructing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to cease enforcing immigration laws against all illegal aliens currently in the country (roughly 12.5 million people) as well as those who could manage, by hook or by crook, to sneak into the U.S. before June 30, 2018! That’s right, ready-made amnesty in advance – some would call a total surrender of U.S. sovereignty – for the next four-and-a-half months.
DHS would have to instruct the Border Patrol agents to stay as far away from the border as possible until July 1, 2018 to avoid being trampled by the hordes of illegal aliens, drug dealers and potential terrorists rushing north. This is common-sense?
And when the DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen issued a statement noting the bill would “be the end of immigration enforcement in America,” she was met by a sharp rebuke from mass immigration advocate Senator Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), who accused DHS of trying to poison the well. Iowa Senator Charles Grassley (R) was justifiably stunned, asking “why would my colleagues want to encourage illegal immigration?”
If this is the best the Senate can do when it comes to “common sense” immigration reforms, we should all be biting our nails. Hopefully, a path forward will soon come out of the House, and will help pull the Senate back into the real world.