Bipartisan legislation that would have offered the roughly 2 million “Dreamers”—those undocumented migrants brought to the U.S. as minors—a path to citizenship in exchange for stronger border security measures has failed to gain enough traction to pass before the 117th Congress adjourns at the end of the month.
The legislation was introduced by Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) who had been a Democrat until last week. The pair were unable to secure enough votes for their proposal to survive a 60-vote filibuster in the Senate, according to three Congressional officials who spoke to CBS News.
The 117th Congress’ lame duck session was seen as likely the last opportunity to pass legislation to protect the Dreamers before Republicans take control of the House in January, despite calls from lawmakers like Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, to secure the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, this month.
Ruiz is among those who say not acting before Congress changes hands in January could lead to deportation for thousands.
Republican lawmakers have typically hesitated to legalize any immigrants at a time of historically high border encounters, but it was thought the Dreamers-Border deal might have a chance because the December 21 court-ordered expiration of the Title 42 health code policy that allowed for the expulsion of migrants during the pandemic has lawmakers on both sides of the aisle looking for new ways to put controls on the southern border.