Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Tuesday that Democrats would reject legislation to address the crisis at the U.S-Mexico border, where children have been separated from adults after crossing illegally.
“There are so many obstacles to legislation and when the president can do it with his own pen, it makes no sense,” Schumer said, as quoted by The Hill. “Legislation is not the way to go here when it’s so easy for the president to sign it.” The Hill‘s Alexander Bolton observed: “Schumer said [Democrats] want to keep the focus on Trump.”
Schumer’s statements seem to indicate that a bill he co-sposonsors, the Keep Families Together Act, is largely for show. That bill, introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), is officially co-sponsored by every Senate Democrat and would prevent government agencies from removing an illegal alien child from a parent or legal guardian within 100 miles of the U.S. border or any port of entry.
Critics — including moderate Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) — have said the bill “would essentially prevent arrest within 100 miles of the border, even if the person has committed a serious crime or is suspected of terrorist activities,” and might even interfere with federal law enforcement more generally throughout the country. Sen. Tom Cotton has called it the ““Child Trafficking Encouragement Act.”
Schumer’s attempt to shift responsibility to President Trump suggests that not even Democratic proposals will come to the floor. Schumer can block Republican proposals, too — of which there are several, including a bill by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — by whipping his party to use the power of the filibuster to prevent any vote.
Democrats accuse Trump of keeping the children at the border “hostage” to his policy. For his part, Trump said on Tuesday that Democrats were more interested in “potential voters” than in helping illegal aliens and their children.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.