Democrats are blocking GOP Senators from debating proposals sought by GOP voters during the Senate’s debate on immigration, and are demanding the Senate only discuss the terms of an amnesty for millions of illegals.
The surprise Democratic filibuster began Tuesday morning when the Senate’s Majority Leader, GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell, introduced an amendment restricting sanctuary cities, which polls show are very unpopular. Sen. Chuck Schumer quickly refused consent, saying it “doesn’t address dreamers, nor does it address border security.”
“We need to be focusing on making laws that deal with those two issues, not making a point,” Schumer later told reporters. “We want to do two things – protect Dreamers and get 60 votes.”
“The path to sixty [votes] is by focusing” on just those issues, said Sen. Chris Coons who has drafted an amnesty bill with GOP Sen. John McCain. “I think we should stay on this topic until we get this job done,” Coons said, adding:
If we build bipartisanship in solving this, something that has long been the hallmark of Senator [John] McCain’s leadership in this body for more than three decades, I think we then lay the groundwork for bigger and more important work.
When asked by a reporter how the chain migration issue could be split from citizenship for younger illegal immigrants, Schumer simply widened the Democrats’ demands by suggesting that the illegal-immigrant parent’s young illegals should also get amnesty. “The parents are not outside the scope [of the ‘dreamer’ issue] — it is one of the issues we are looking at.”
In case you didn’t think Congress was absurd before, Senate Democrats are now filibustering the open immigration debate they asked for, and are refusing to put their bill on the floor.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) February 13, 2018
The Democrats’ ‘dreamer’ bills are intended to win amnesty for at least 3.25 million young illegals, regardless of their huge cost and their impact on Americans’ workplaces and communities.
The Democrats’ demand for a focus on the illegals and “border security” would silence debate about the GOP’s popular plans to curb or end sanctuary cities, chain migration, the visa lottery, and the border loopholes which create “catch and release” laws which require the government help move unskilled migrants and MS-13 gang members into the United States. The gag order would also silence any debate on the workplace and civic impacts of mass-immigration.
In his press conference, McConnell slammed Democrats’ filibuster, while also shrugging off objections from the pro-amnesty reporters. McConnell said:
There is no reason in the world that if there is a core 60 votes to support something we can’t achieve it in the next few days … I’m not trying to dictate to them what they offer, they should not be trying to dictate to us what we offer, we ought to just get started …
I appreciate your advice about how to handle this — we’ll decide the order in which we offer our [amendments], and I’m not trying to dictate to them the order which they may offer their [amendments] … We need to get started. We could have voted on amendments today.
We’ve got multi-days here to deal with an issue we’ve been talking about for a very long time. There is no reason not to come together and get a solution this week. This has been going on endlessly — they shut down the government over this [in January]. I want to see what they want to do. I assumed they had an idea here to lay before the Senate since they took us into a government shutdown. They actually requested the date that I ended up agreeing to … Where’s the [Democratic] plan?
Under Senate rules, debates proceed 30 hours after a proposal is made, unless the Senators provide unanimous consent. Schumer and his Democrats are denying the “UC,” but once the 30 hours are up, McConnell will be able to force the Democrats to debate or vote on various amendments, likely on Thursday.
The Democrats’ reluctance to debate the issues is also highlighted by their refusal to submit any proposed amendments, even though GOP Senators had already submitted almost 10 proposals, a Capitol Hill source said early afternoon. “The Democrats have not offered a single amendment yet … they don’t want to have an immigration debate – they only want a DACA debate. That’s not what we agreed to have a debate on.”
“We’re going to keep fighting every way we can,” Schumer told reporters while repeating his demand that GOP-leaning amendments be kept out of the debate. He said:
We Democrats have always said that the issue of family unification is something not part of ‘dream.’ If you want to do that .. but tot put that as part of the mix here makes no sense … Once you go outside the boundaries of border security, dreamers, experience shows you run amuck.
The Democratic filibuster reflects the popularity of the President Donald Trump’s 2016 immigration proposals — and the unpopularity of the Democrats’ pro-amnesty, pro-migration, pro-cheap labor policies.
Immigration polls which ask people to pick a priority or decide which options are fair, show that voters in the polling booth put a high priority on helping their families and fellow nationals get decent jobs in a high-tech, high-immigration, low-wage economy. Those results are very different from the “Nation of Immigrants” polls which are funded by business and progressives, and which pressure Americans to say they welcome migrants.