Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., left, walk to the chamber after collaborating on an agreement in the Senate on a two-year, almost $400 billion budget deal that would provide Pentagon and domestic programs with huge spending increases, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018.
Photo: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Photo: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

How Georgia’s Perdue, Isakson voted on Senate’s immigration bills

The chamber only took four immigration-related votes this week before sprinting out of town for a week-long recess, leaving the fate of the so-called Dreamers even more unsettled ahead of a critical March 5 deadline. None of the proposals senators voted on Thursday earned the adequate 60 votes to avoid a filibuster and secure passage. 

Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, Georgia’s two Republican senators, took very different approaches to the Senate’s immigration debate. Here is how they voted on each proposal: 

Sanctuary cities 

This Republican proposal aimed to cut off federal funding for so-called sanctuary cities, jurisdictions that limit how local police can cooperate with the feds on immigration. (Georgia has outlawed sanctuary cities since 2009.) The plan was rejected on a 54-45 party-line vote.

       Isakson – yes 

      Perdue – yes 

Skinny bipartisan plan

This bipartisan bill from Delaware Democrat Chris Coons and Arizona Republican John McCain was essentially a bare-bones immigration tradeoff for the two parties. It would have provided Dreamers with a pathway to citizenship and boosted security along the southern border, but it didn’t appropriate any money for Trump’s border wall or make changes to the country’s legal immigration system. The White House came out against the plan, arguing it would have increased illegal immigration. The plan failed, 52-47. 

       Isakson – no

      Perdue – no

‘Common Sense Coalition’s’ bill 

This bipartisan measure came from a larger group of moderates calling themselves the Common Sense Coalition. (Isakson was a co-sponsor.) It would have granted Dreamers a path to citizenship but barred them from sponsoring their parents. It would have set aside $25 billion for border security, as Trump requested, but given it to him over 10 years, not immediately. It would have left in place the diversity visa lottery, which Trump vehemently opposes. The White House pushed back hard against the plan, and it failed 54-45, despite eight Republicans backing it. 

         Isakson – yes 

         Perdue – no 

President’s proposal

Perdue – and eventually Isakson – joined on as co-sponsors of this nearly $100 billion plan, which mirrored President’ Donald Trump’s latest immigration offer. It would have granted citizenship to 1.8 million Dreamers after more than a decade and provided a major boost to border security. It also would have killed the diversity visa lottery and made major structural changes to the country’s legal immigration rules by barring immigrants from sponsoring their non-nuclear family for visas. The plan was rejected 39-60.  

      Isakson – yes 

      Perdue – yes 

About the Author

Tamar Hallerman
Tamar Hallerman
Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that...

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