- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Senate on Thursday killed a bipartisan bill that would have cracked down on sanctuary cities, as the long-awaited immigration floor fight turned into a massacre.

The bill failed in a 54-45 vote, falling six votes short of the 60 needed to survive and becoming the second casualty in the chamber’s battle over immigration.

However, the measure drew bipartisan votes with four Democrats crossing the aisle to join 50 Republicans in support of withholding some federal grant money from states that don’t cooperate with federal immigration officers when they have illegal immigrants in custody.

Sen. Richard Durbin, the chambers’ No. 2 Democratic leader, rallied his colleagues against the bill by saying it would withhold crucial funds from police and stop the federal government from forcing them to act as immigration agents.

He said a no vote would be “a vote for our men an women in uniform.”

The first bill to die was a bipartisan proposal by Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, and Sen. Chris Coons, Delaware Democrat, that would have granted amnesty for perhaps 3 million illegal immigrants in exchange for a study of border security and a promise of action by 2021.

The sanctuary city bill was sponsored by Sen. Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, and Sen. Joe Manchin, West Virginia Democrat.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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