WASHINGTON – US senators leave Washington Friday empty handed. After a week of open debate on a number of bills, they couldn't come to an agreement on how to provide a solution for Dreamers while also tackling immigration reforms demanded by President Donald Trump.
On Thursday, senators rejected both a bipartisan plan and one proposed by the president.
"I thought our friends across the aisle would jump at this opportunity to fulfill what they say is their top priority, but they couldn't just take yes for an answer," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, from the Senate floor.
The bipartisan plan fell short by six votes after the White House called it a "dangerous policy."
The president's plan fell 21 votes shy of the 60 needed, proving the challenges he faces of fixing the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and addressing immigration in an election year.
Republicans blame Democrats and Democrats blame the president for the immigration debacle.
Some Dreamers demand Congress only address their situation, without other reforms, but that won't make it past the president's veto pen.
"We have all been extremely clear from the beginning on what we want and what we deserve for our immigrant families and communities and that was a clean DREAM Act and it remakes a clean DREAM Act," said Melody Kinglenfuss, a member of the California Dream Network.
The stalemate in the Senate comes amid tensions in communities with large immigrant populations.
Hundreds of students walked out of a Houston high school this week after rumors spread that a student was arrested for a fight and placed in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
President Trump has given Congress until March 5 to fix DACA or watch him remove measures that protect Dreamers from being deported.
Meanwhile, Sen. McConnell hasn't given up. He's urging members to put away their talking points and get serious about finding a solution that can get enough votes to pass and become law.