Politico: Senate DACA debate fizzles out

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Morning Shift will not publish on Monday, Feb. 19. The next Morning Shift will publish on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

SENATE DACA DEBATE FIZZLES OUT: The Senate spent a week debating immigration but failed to reach enough consensus to advance legislation that would protect so-called “DREAMers” brought to the United States as children. The proposal with the best shot at passage — a bipartisan measure from Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Angus King (I-Maine) — fell six votes short of the 60 needed to clear a filibuster. President Donald Trump’s favored plan, an enforcement-heavy amendment from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), tanked on a procedural vote, 39-60, with 14 Republicans in opposition.

The White House backed the Grassley proposal, but also spent plenty of time railing against the alternatives. Roughly an hour before the votes, senior White House and administration officials held a telephonic briefing with reporters to highlight the deficiencies of the Rounds-King amendment. (Despite requests to go on the record, the officials requested anonymity as a condition of the call.) The Homeland Security Department also took shots at the bipartisan measure, issuing an emphatic press release just before 1 a.m. Thursday that said the amendment “would be the end of immigration enforcement in America” (the measure would have deprioritized the arrest of law-abiding undocumented immigrants who arrived before June 30, 2018).

Will the Senate try again? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’ll consider legislation “that can pass both the House and the Senate” and receive Trump’s signature. But Trump’s plan doesn’t stand much chance of passage in the Senate. House immigration hawks want a vote on another hardline bill from Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), H.R. 4760 (115) but it’s not clear it could garner the 218 votes needed to clear that chamber, either, POLITICO’s Rachael Bade and John Bresnahan report. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Thursday he’ll continue to work on a narrower DACA-border bill, a fallback option that would need Trump’s blessing. Regardless, the dealmaking will be paused with lawmakers out of town next week. Read more about the failed Senate votes from POLITICO’s Elana Schor and Burgess Everett here and more about the House machinations from Bade and Bresnahan here.

GOOD MORNING! It's Friday, Feb. 16, and this is Morning Shift, POLITICO's daily tipsheet on employment and immigration policy. Send tips, exclusives and suggestions to thesson@politico.com, ikullgren@politico.com, ahanna@politico.com and tnoah@politico.com. Follow us on Twitter at @tedhesson, @IanKullgren, @AndrewBHanna and @TimothyNoah1.


DACA at Supreme Court: What happens to DREAMers? A Supreme Court conference this morning could shed some light on that question. The Justice Department asked the justices to consider a federal judge’s mid-January decision to temporarily block the termination of the DACA program, which forced the administration to begin accepting renewal applications. The justices could decide today whether or not to take up the case: If they do, it could be heard this term, likely at the end of April. If not, the legal battle will continue in the 9th Circuit and wouldn’t wind its way back to SCOTUS until October at the earliest. With a federal holiday Monday, the court could announce its cert decision by this afternoon if it decides to take the case. If they don’t take the case, the announcement would come on Tuesday or afterward.

The Trump administration set a March 5 deadline to wind down the DACA program, but the court’s injunction (and a second this week in Brooklyn) allows people with expiring enrollment to reapply. Still, the time needed for application processing could jeopardize the work authorization of some enrollees.

Related read: New York Times contributing op-ed write Linda Greenhouse breaks down the Supreme Court conference here.

Nielsen and Pence tour the border: Vice President Mike Pence and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen head to South Texas today where they’ll tour the border, the Texas Tribune reports. Pence will attend a fundraising event in San Antonio and then travel to McAllen to see the border with Nielsen and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the outlet reports. “In McAllen, he also will meet with local law enforcement and participate in an immigration roundtable with U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” the Tribune reports. More here.

DEMS SEND NLRB OVERSIGHT LETTERS: House and Senate Democrats demanded information about a potential restructuring of the NLRB regional office system in a pair of letters to General Counsel Peter Robb on Thursday. Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in their letter expressed “grave concern” about reports of Robb’s plan to consolidate the regions into larger district offices. Meanwhile, the House letter — signed Reps. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), Donald Norcross (D-N.J.) and Kilili Sablan of the Northern Mariana Islands — warned the proposal could “make it harder for workers to bring charges for violations of their rights.” Both letters asked for a detailed description of any proposal to restructure the regions or alter regional directors’ authorities.

HOUSE PASSES ADA CHANGE AMID PROTESTS: A bill weakening enforcement provisions in the American Disability Act passed the House on Thursday, 225-192. But before the final vote, proceedings were disrupted by disability rights activists, and Capitol Police had to remove protesters as they chanted “Hands off ADA.” The bill, hr620, would bar a disabled individual from suing a business with a physical barrier preventing access unless the person had a written legal notice and waited up to 180 days. Supporters of the bill said it would defend small business owners from frivolous lawsuits. More here.

PRIVATIZING CONTRACTING OVERSIGHT?: The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is considering ways to grant more oversight power to industry actors, a DOL official tells Morning Shift. The office is tasked with holding federal contractors and subcontractors responsible for complying with affirmative action and anti-discrimination laws. “The idea would be having private entities review the equal employment practices of federal contractors instead of a federal audit,” the official said, an idea derived from conversations around the federal apprenticeship program. The Labor Department did not respond to a request for comment.

NO DOL RESPONSE ON TIP POOLING: House Democrats said Thursday that the Labor Department is refusing to respond to oversight requests on the economic impact of a rule change related to tipping. The oversight requests followed a Bloomberg Law report that found the department suppressed economic data showing billions in tips would be transferred from workers to employers as a result of the change. Liberal lawmakers characterized the proposal as a giveaway to the restaurant industry. “It seems like he’s just trying to reward the other [National Restaurant Association],” said Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.). Other lawmakers, like Reps. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Mark Takano (D-Calif.), called for a full committee hearing on the subject, but it’s unlikely they’ll get their wish. DOL did not respond to a request for comment. More here.

APPEALS COURT BLOCKS TRAVEL BAN 3.0: “A second federal appeals court has ruled against [Trump's] latest travel ban executive order, but the decision has already been overtaken by action at the Supreme Court,” POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein reports. “The Richmond-based 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, 9-4, that the Trump directive limiting visitors from six majority-Muslim countries and two other nations is likely unconstitutional because it was driven by anti-Muslim animus.”

“The judges’ split fell largely along party lines and divided the court in nearly the same fashion as the decision the same judges issued, 10-3, last May against an earlier version of Trump's travel restrictions,” writes Gerstein. “Last October, the Supreme Court voted, 7-2, to allow Trump's latest order to take full effect despite a partial injunction against it. The justices agreed in January to hear the case this term. It's expected to be argued in April, but the argument has not yet been scheduled.” More here.

ICE LAWYER PLEADS GUILTY: “A former top lawyer for Immigration and Customs Enforcement pleaded guilty on Thursday to stealing the identities of seven people in deportation proceedings and buying more than $190,000 in goods under their names, the federal authorities said,” Matthew Haag reports in the New York Times. “The former lawyer, Raphael A. Sanchez, used his position as the ICE chief counsel for immigration proceedings in several Western states to gain access to the victims’ personal information in federal databases, including their immigration records. Using those records, Mr. Sanchez created fake Social Security cards, driver’s licenses and utility bills to open credit card and bank accounts in their names, the authorities said.” More here.

AIRBNB CAFETERIA WORKERS UNIONIZE: “Airbnb Inc. cafeteria workers are joining the United Auto Workers, a new twist in the home-rental company’s troubled relationship with organized labor,” Bloomberg’s Josh Eidelson reports. “The United Auto Workers won a union contract covering nearly 150 cafeteria workers at four Airbnb facilities. It’s the latest development in a unionization trend among tech companies’ sub-contracted staff.” More here.

CORRECTION: The Feb. 14 edition of Morning Shift incorrectly stated when Mark Gaston Pearce’s NLRB would end. Pearce’s term ends this August.


“Tom Cotton slams Lindsey Graham for 'bullying' Trump adviser Stephen Miller,” from the Washington Examiner

“How ICE works to strip citizenship from naturalized Americans,” from the Intercept

Opinion: “Trump wants to make America white again,” from the New York Times

Report: “Putting lives at risk: Protection failures affecting Hondurans and Salvadorans deported from the United states and Mexico,” from Refugees International



This piece originally appeared here