As widely expected, Republicans in the Senate killed all the proposals to protect Dreamers and put DACA protections under law, and now Democrats who stupidly trusted Mitch McConnell have nothing to show for it but voters who will turn on them in November.
The Senate's much-hyped immigration debate is heading toward a megaflop on Thursday.
All three plans slated for votes are shy of the Senate's 60-vote threshold, likely leaving lawmakers with nothing to show for weeks of talks and Dreamers in limbo.
A bipartisan agreement was rejected 54-45, with most Republicans voting against it after a furious White House campaign to defeat it, including a Thursday veto threat. It would give an estimated 1.8 million undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship while spending $25 billion on border security.
“It’s a pig in a poke,” Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), a close ally of President Donald Trump, said of the bipartisan bill.
But Republicans also acknowledge a GOP amendment that would enshrine Trump's four-part immigration framework, including cuts to legal immigration, is also short of 60 votes. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has said that he could support the Trump framework, but no other red-state Democrat has joined him.
The upshot is almost-certain stalemate, despite long-running negotiations, particularly among the bipartisan group of mostly moderate senators.
And Trump's supported plan, sponsored by Chuck Grassley, couldn't even get 40 votes it was so bad.
But now Democrats have a much different issue. Immigration activists and supporters were told to stand down and give the Dems a chance to work this out. They did, and Mitch McConnell crapped in everyone's punchbowl anyway.
So will Dems shut down the government in March or risk alienating their entire bloc of Hispanic voters?
The Supreme Court has already been asked step in to fix this.
With all the noise coming out of Washington, it’s been easy to forget about the Supreme Court. The court has been very quiet: during a recess of nearly four weeks, only the peripatetic Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has made news, of a sort.
But once the justices get back to business on Friday, that interlude of near invisibility will end. On the agenda for their closed-door meeting Friday morning is an urgent and highly unusual request from the Trump administration for the court’s intervention in the continuing debate over the fate of nearly 800,000 “Dreamers,” the young people brought to this country by their undocumented parents. They have been shielded from deportation since 2012 by the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, which President Trump wants to phase out beginning less than three weeks from now.
Blocked by a lower court from carrying out that plan, the administration seeks to vault over the normal appellate process, asking the Supreme Court for prompt relief from what Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco calls an “institutional injury to the United States.” The justices’ response — which may come as early as Monday — will tell us more clearly than anything since Inauguration Day what stance the rule-bound court is prepared to take toward the norm-breaking president. Will the Roberts court serve as Donald Trump’s enabler? Or will the court see itself, as it has on rare occasions at other troubled times in the country’s history, as a firewall between the president and the rule of law? With its overheated language and repeated reference to “the ongoing violation of federal law by more than half a million people,” the petition the administration filed last month reads not so much as a legal document but as a recruiting brochure, aimed at a very small but immensely powerful audience of nine.
In freezing the DACA program in place last month while lawsuits against its termination proceed, Judge William Alsup of Federal District Court in San Francisco ruled that the plaintiffs, who include individual DACA recipients, the University of California, and a group of states and California counties, were likely to succeed on their claim that the order to terminate DACA was “arbitrary and capricious” and therefore violated the Administrative Procedure Act. (On Tuesday, a second federal district judge, Nicholas G. Garaufis, in Brooklyn, issued a similar ruling. Cases are also pending in the federal courts of Maryland, Virginia, Florida and the District of Columbia.) Because Judge Alsup sits in San Francisco, any appeal would go to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. That’s President Trump’s least favorite court, the court that rejected the his bans on immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries, including the current version that is now before the Supreme Court. The morning after Judge Alsup’s ruling, the president tweeted: “It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing sides in a case (such as DACA) always come to the 9th Circuit and almost always win before being reversed by higher courts.”
So while filing an appeal to the Ninth Circuit, the administration’s lawyers also went to the Supreme Court with a “petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment,” a request to the justices to hear the case this spring without waiting. The Supreme Court’s rules reserve this court-jumping procedure for cases of “imperative public importance.” Only a handful of cases has cleared that bar, including the Nixon tapes case, which effectively forced the president’s resignation and the 1981 case that ratified the agreement that ended the Iran hostage crisis. Invoking those cases, Solicitor General Francisco insists to the court that “that standard has been met here,” an assertion the plaintiffs vigorously dispute.
If SCOTUS lets Trump slide here, by the time the March 23 potential government shutdown deadline occurs, DACA protections would have been already eliminated for all dreamers on March 15th. It would be a madhouse.
We'll see what happens, but Dems chose this fight, and walking away from it will cost them the Senate and maybe the House if they let Trump trap them like they are currently doing.
They will have nobody to blame but themselves if that happens.