The Senate’s most recent bipartisan immigration bill, which is being led by Republican Mike Rounds and independent Angus King, would provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, drastically curb family reunification, fund Trump’s border wall, and restrict ICE’s ability to deport undocumented immigrants without criminal records. It’s a compromise bill, in other words, and one that is no one’s idea of a perfect solution. Though somewhat to the left of an earlier compromise bill that was killed by the White House, some Democrats are reluctant to support the bill, given its changes to legal immigration and its funding for the wall.
But the Trump administration is proving to be the biggest roadblock for a bipartisan compromise. While the administration has suggested that it’s open to a bipartisan compromise (something that is necessary, given the Senate’s 60-vote rule), it has thus far stood in the way of anything less than total capitulation. It has also given what is, in effect, a veto to some of Congress’ most radical voices, like Senator Tom Cotton and Congressman Steve King, neither of whom are incentivized to compromise. And on Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security invoked 9/11 in stating its opposition to the bill:
DHS is upset over the amendments that would curb ICE’s power—even though there’s nothing in the bill to suggest that it would lead to millions of immigrants entering the country. Invoking 9/11 is particularly rich, given that ICE’s recent spate of deportations, which have targeted law-abiding citizens, have had nothing to do with terrorism. But it does suggest how far the administration is willing to go to kill any immigration compromise.