Centrist Democrats are pulling away from Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’s (D-NV) plans to throw more money at the border without also making policy changes focused on the deportation of illegal minors–especially minors from Central America.
According to The Hill, Reid has joined with Senate Democrat Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in pushing $3.7 billion “in emergency spending” that does “not include policy changes empowering the administration to deport unaccompanied minors more quickly.”
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is voicing opposition to this plan, asking how senators are simply supposed to sign off on billions with no promise of what will be done with the illegal minors in this country.
Senator Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) shares Manchin’s concern. She says she would like to see proposals that go beyond throwing money at the border–proposals built “around policy changes.”
A bill sponsored by Senate Republican Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Representative Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) (R-TX) offers an alternative. It treats “unaccompanied migrant children from Mexico, Central America, or any other country with ‘equality under law.'” This means laws and deportation rules would be the same across the board.
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) opposes Cornyn’s bill. He asserts the bill supported by Reid is sufficient because it is in line with the administration’s stance of allowing a “Central American child [to] seek voluntary departure.”
Follow AWR Hawkins Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com.