Five Democratic senators broke from their party Thursday to side with Republican Sen.
The procedural move failed in a tie vote, 50-50. Although largely symbolic, it was potent enough to attract the Democrats, including four who are in tough re-election battles this fall in conservative-leaning states.
Democrats who sided with the Texas Republican were Sens.
"We must take steps to prevent the president from taking any more executive amnesty," said Sen.
The proposal was modeled after legislation approved by the House that would undo Obama's executive order allowing young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to temporarily stay, and would prevent other similar actions.
Frank Sharry, executive director of the immigration advocacy group America's Voice, called it an "ugly, anti-immigrant proposal" that shows hard-liners are "firmly in control of the GOP's immigration strategy."
Some of the defecting Democrats had urged Obama this summer not to take executive action to legalize immigrants before the midterm election, worried that it could harm their campaigns in red states.
Many Republican and independent voters are wary of the
Obama has said he is acting on his own after House Republicans refused to engage in
Sessions said Senate Democrats had "enabled the administration's lawless scheme every step of the way."