Danger of mass deportations grows as US Senate refuses to protect immigrant youth
16 February 2018
Hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the US as children face an increased threat of deportation after the Senate rejected a series of proposals to couple legal status for those covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program with stepped-up repressive measures against immigrants, including Trump’s wall along the US-Mexico border.
Four votes were taken, each to close debate on a specific immigration measure, and all four fell short of the 60 votes required to end debate and force a vote on final passage. Three of the measures dealt directly with those covered by the DACA program, which Trump cancelled last September, setting a deadline of March 5 for expiration—at which point nearly 800,000 young people brought here as children could face deportation.
These included two bipartisan plans, named after their lead Republican and Democratic sponsors, the McCain-Coons amendment, and the Collins-King amendment. Both these bills provided for legal status and a 10 to 12-year path to citizenship for DACA recipients, with the Collins bill providing more money for “border security” than the McCain bill, and explicitly approving the wall.
The Democratic leadership went all-out to back the Collins-King bill, and 45 Democrats, including Elizabeth Warren and “independent” Bernie Sanders, backed a measure that would have increased funding for border militarization and expanded funding for internal deportation operations by $25 billion.
The third bill, backed by the Senate Republican leadership, incorporated all four “pillars” demanded by the Trump White House, including drastic cuts in legal immigration. Three Democrats voted…