What a debacle: The Senate’s week dedicated to debating immigration reform is proving a complete farce.
It took more than two days to even get to rules for the debate, as Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tried to avoid making his members vote on a bill to withhold funding from sanctuary cities, which Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insisted on.
Then, come Thursday, the Senate proceeded to vote down everything on the table: a liberal-leaning bill to give Dreamers a path to citizenship and add some border-enforcement cash; the sanctuary-cities bill; a bill that aimed to cover all of President Trump’s proposals and one other effort at a compromise.
Of course, even a Senate-passed bill would need to clear the House and win Trump’s signature. So Washington is a long, long way from any grand compromise.
Which means lawmakers should be looking for smaller deals.
The only real deadline now centers on the Dreamers — young people brought here illegally as children, whom President Barack Obama tried to protect with his (unconstitutional) Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order.
Those protections will soon die unless Congress acts. At the very least, lawmakers could agree on some measure to let already-registered Dreamers continue to live without fear of deportation — even if it takes adding a few hundred million in border-enforcement funds to get immigration hawks to agree.
If Democrats won’t go for some such minimal deal, then they don’t really care about the Dreamers at all.