WASHINGTON — The Senate has rejected President Donald Trump’s immigration bill. That means the chamber has now rejected four separate immigration proposals, suggesting that its long-awaited debate on the issue could well end in gridlock.
Watch the Senate vote in the player above.
The vote on Trump’s proposal was 39-60, well below the 60 votes needed for approval.
Trump had proposed creating a 10- to 12-year path to citizenship for young immigrant “Dreamers,” a concession to Democrats. In exchange, he sought a quick infusion of $25 billion to build his wall and other border security steps, tightened restrictions on relatives that legal immigrants could sponsor for citizenship and an end to a visa lottery aimed at boosting diversity among immigrants.
Democrats and many Republicans opposed Trump’s wall spending and curbs on immigrants’ relatives.
It also blocked a bipartisan proposal that would have provided 1.8 million young immigrants a chance for citizenship and $25 billion for a border wall.
The bill was crafted by moderate Republicans and Democrats billing themselves as the “Common Sense Coalition.” They described the proposal as having the most bipartisan support in the Senate, but it came under fire from the White House and the Department of Homeland Security.
The vote was 54-45, six votes short of the 60 needed to advance.
The moderates’ measure does not alter a lottery that distributes about 55,000 visas annually to people from diverse countries. Trump has proposed ending it and redistributing its visas to other immigrants.
The group spent weeks trying to craft a middle ground on the thorny immigration issue.
The Senate also rejected legislation targeting cities that don’t fully comply with federal authorities in enforcing immigration law.
The legislation from Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., would block federal grants to so-called “sanctuary cities.”
The Senate rejected the amendment by a vote of 54-45, six short of the 60 needed for passage.
It was one of four proposals the Senate considered Thursday in an effort pass an immigration bill.
Toomey says the policies of sanctuary cities endanger all residents by conferring a special protection to illegal immigrants.
But officials from sanctuary cities say their policies foster trust with minority groups and encourage them to report crimes and come forward as witnesses.
In the first roll call, the Senate blocked a narrow measure by Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons. The vote was 52-47 — eight short of the 60 votes needed to pass.
The proposal would protect around 1.8 million young “Dreamer” immigrants from deportation and direct the government to gain better control of the U.S.-Mexico border by 2020. But it doesn’t give the Dreamers their own way to gain citizenship, and it doesn’t explicitly provide the $25 billion President Donald Trump wants for a border wall.