The Senate left hundreds of thousands of "Dreamer" immigrants in limbo Thursday, rejecting rival plans that would have spared them from deportation and strengthened the nation's border security. Senators dealt President Donald Trump an especially galling defeat as more than a quarter of fellow Republicans abandoned him on an issue that helped propel him to the White House.
Also defeated was a plan by a bipartisan group of senators who offered a compromise that would have shielded the young immigrants, financed Trump's demands for money to build his coveted border wall with Mexico and tightened restrictions on legal immigration in general. Eight Republicans joined most Democrats in backing that plan, but it fell short after the White House threatened a veto and GOP leaders opposed it.
Sen. Deb Fischer supported the proposal favored by Trump, noting that “my top priority has always been border security.”
“The measure I supported today would help secure our nation by constructing a border wall system, including physical fencing, radar and other technologies,” she said.
“It also contains other robust security provisions to close loopholes in current law, add enforcement personnel and thwart drug and human trafficking.”
Sen. Ben Sasse voted against both immigration reform proposals.
“I ran as a conservative and I’ll vote as a conservative,” he said. “That means rejecting today’s left-of-center proposals.
“There may still be a constructive path forward with a much simpler legislative package that both protects kids who were brought here through no fault of their own and finally secures the border,” Sasse said.