Jones Helps Block Trump Immigration Bill

Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) Thursday helped block President Trump's immigration reform plan.  The Senate voted 60-39 against proceeding with consideration of the four-part framework.  It aimed to boost border security, end chain migration and the visa lottery, and provide a path to citizenship for DACA illegal immigrants.  Jones opposed taking up the bill, while Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) supported it.  Jones's opposition was especially striking, since three other red state Democrats, Joe Manchin (W. Va.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), and Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) sided with the president.  Jones's vote was seen as a sign that he intends to vote with his party on immigration issues, despite the president's high popularity in Alabama.  The Senate also defeated a so-called bipartisan plan supported by Democrats, and a relatively small number of  amnesty-friendly Republicans, like Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.).   The  Department of Homeland Security blasted that proposal, saying it would "end immigration enforcement in America."  Jones supported proceeding with that plan, while Shelby opposed it.   The Senate also defeated two other amendments.  A Republican proposal would have withheld certain federal funds from sanctuary cities (supported by Shelby, opposed by Jones).  The second measure offered amnesty to DACA immigrants without funds for the border wall (opposed by Shelby, supported by Jones).   The failure of all four measures appeared to suggest that the Senate was at an impasse, with no clear path forward.

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