POLITICS
09/25/2017 05:45 am ET

Here's How Senate Republicans Have Voted On Dreamers And Immigrants

Nearly every current Senate Republican opposed the Dream Act in 2010, but some shifted on a broader immigration bill in 2013.

WASHINGTON ― Members of Congress will soon need to decide whether they want to grant some sort of relief to the hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants President Donald Trump put at risk of deportation and losing their jobs.

On the Republican side, many senators said they wanted to help after Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. But only six have publicly supported standalone legislation in 2017 to grant so-called Dreamers legal status ― leaving 46 Republican senators who have not endorsed any bill this year that would allow people who came to the U.S. as children to avoid deportation.

Lawmakers’ past votes could provide clues about how they’ll vote on this year’s proposals. Only one current Senate Republican ― Lisa Murkowski of Alaska ― supported the Dream Act, a bill to grant legal status to Dreamers in 2010. She also supported a comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2013.

Others have been less consistent on their votes for bills to grant legal status to certain undocumented immigrants. Every other current Senate Republican who was serving in Congress in 2010 opposed the Dream Act, either through a straight vote in the House or a procedural vote that prevented it from moving forward in the Senate.

Below are the votes of every current Republican senator on the 2010 Dream Act and the 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill, along with their support for standalone bills this year.
NAME STATE 2017 DREAM 2017 DREAM alternative Not yet introduced 2013 CIR 2010 DREAM House and Senate votes
Richard Shelby Ala. - - No No
Luther Strange Ala. - - Not in Senate Not in Congress
Lisa Murkowski Alaska Yes - Yes Yes
Dan Sullivan Alaska - - Not in Senate Not in Congress
Jeff Flake Voted differently Ariz. Yes - Yes No
John McCain Voted differently Ariz. - - Yes No
John Boozman Ark. - - No No
Tom Cotton Ark. - - Not in Senate Not in Congress
Cory Gardner Colo. Yes - Not in Senate Not in Congress
Marco Rubio Fla. - - Yes Not in Congress
Johnny Isakson Ga. - - No No
David Perdue Ga. - - Not in Senate Not in Congress
Mike Crapo Idaho - - No No
James Risch Idaho - - No No
Todd Young Ind. - - Not in Senate Not in Congress
Joni Ernst Iowa - - Not in Senate Not in Congress
Chuck Grassley Iowa - - No No
Jerry Moran Kan. - - No No
Pat Roberts Kan. - - No No
Mitch McConnell Ky. - - No No
Rand Paul Ky. - - No Not in Congress
Bill Cassidy La. - - Not in Senate No
John Kennedy La. - - Not in Senate Not in Congress
Susan Collins Voted differently Maine - - Yes No
Thad Cochran Miss. - - No No
Roger Wicker Miss. - - No No
Roy Blunt Mo. - - No Did not vote
Steve Daines Mont. - - Not in Senate Not in Congress
Richard Burr N.C. - - No No
Thom Tillis N.C. - Yes Not in Senate Not in Congress
John Hoeven N.D. - - Yes Not in Congress
Deb Fischer Neb. - - No Not in Congress
Ben Sasse Neb. - - Not in Senate Not in Congress
Dean Heller Voted differently Nev. - - Yes No
Rob Portman Ohio - - No Not in Congress
James Inhofe Okla. - - No No
James Lankford Okla. - Yes Not in Senate Not in Congress
Patrick Toomey Pa. - - No Not in Congress
Lindsey Graham Voted differently S.C. Yes - Yes No
Tim Scott S.C. - - No Not in Congress
Mike Rounds S.D. - - Not in Senate Not in Congress
John Thune S.D. - - No No
Lamar Alexander Voted differently Tenn. - - Yes No
Bob Corker Voted differently Tenn. - - Yes No
John Cornyn Texas - - No No
Ted Cruz Texas - - No Not in Congress
Orrin Hatch Utah - - Yes Did not vote
Mike Lee Utah - - No Not in Congress
Shelley Moore Capito W.Va. - - Not in Senate No
Ron Johnson Wis. - - No Not in Congress
John Barrasso Wyo. - - No No
Mike Enzi Wyo. - - No No

However, 11 Republican senators currently serving, including Murkowski, voted for a 2013 comprehensive reform bill that coupled Dream Act-type measures and a path to legal status for many undocumented immigrants with border security, enforcement and other changes to the immigration system. If the Dream Act is paired with border security now ― as Trump has demanded ― their 2013 vote could indicate they would also support a similar bill now.

Two of the four Republican senators now publicly backing standalone bills to protect Dreamers voted against the 2010 Dream Act but for the 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) are co-sponsoring the 2017 Dream Act after opposing its 2010 iteration. They are joined by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), who was not serving in Congress in 2010, and Murkowski.

Two other GOP senators plan to unveil a separate bill to protect Dreamers from deportation. On Monday, Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) are expected to introduce that bill, which could potentially be a version of the House’s Recognizing America’s Children Act, or RAC Act.

In the House, the RAC Act would only grant legal status to Dreamers who came to the U.S. before they were 16. The Dream Act would apply to those who entered before they were 18.

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