Senate Dems Killed Amendment To Curb Illegals In Abortion Fight
An amendment designed to discourage illegal immigration was a casualty of the deal that ended the Senate human trafficking fight this week.
Republican Sen. David Vitter’s amendment would deny citizenship to U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants, in order to discourage foreigners from crossing the border in hopes of winning citizenship for their unborn children.
“[Automatic citizenship] is a huge magnet for more illegal crossings into our country, often at the hands of very dangerous people,” Vitter said on the Senate floor, arguing the policy empowers human smugglers and traffickers.
“These women put their lives in to the hands of criminal gangs with a demonstrated pension for sexual assault and sex trafficking,” he added. (VIDEO: Birth Tourism Ring Busted In Los Angeles)
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called it “Vitter’s stupid amendment,” but said Senate Democrats would be happy to debate that amendment and any other amendment Republicans wanted, so long as they stripped contentious abortion language out of the bill. (RELATED: Senate Democrats Fight For More Illegals In Human Trafficking Bill)
Democrats claim they didn’t notice the language — preventing fines collected from human trafficking perpetrators from being used to fund abortions, except in case of rape, incest or life of the mother — until after they voted the bill unanimously out of committee and to the floor.
They blocked the bill for weeks, refusing to budge until Republicans agreed to change the bill so the abortion funding ban applies only to taxpayer dollars. As part of the “compromise” that resulted in the bill’s passage Wednesday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to limit the number of amendment votes. (RELATED: Republicans Mollify Dems To End Human Trafficking Fight)
As a result, Vitter’s amendment and other GOP amendments were effectively blocked by Senate Democrats. Prior to the vote, Reid threatened to derail the bill again if Republicans didn’t keep it in line during the amendments process.
I think we better be very very careful on amendments that are offered,” he said on the Senate floor. “I say to my Republican colleagues, be very careful that you don’t destroy this human trafficking legislation that is so important.”
“And you can,” he continued. “You can do it with, I’ve looked at some of the amendments that are being talked about being offered. My senators are not going to sit back like shrinking violets and let this stuff go forward without responding in a fashion that will also cause difficult votes for my Republican colleagues.”
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