Manchin becomes final Democrat to back bill preventing separation of immigrant families
© Greg Nash

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinMorrisey accuses Manchin of 'lying' to Trump, attacks ‘liberal’ record The Hill's Morning Report — Trump, Putin meet under cloud of Mueller’s Russia indictments Doug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee MORE (D-W.Va.) said on Monday that he will back legislation to prevent the separation of immigrant families along the border, solidifying Democratic support for the bill.

Manchin's decision means all 49 members of the Democratic caucus, which includes independent Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersShowtime says Sacha Baron Cohen did not dress as 'disabled veteran' 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser Ocasio-Cortez floating progressive sub-caucus MORE (Vt.) and Angus KingAngus Stanley KingHillicon Valley: Hacker tried to sell military docs on dark web | Facebook fined over Cambridge Analytica | US closer to lifting ZTE ban | Trump, Obama lose followers in Twitter purge | DOJ weighs appeal on AT&T merger Senators press federal election officials on state cybersecurity 'Paws for Celebration' event brings rescue animals to the Capitol MORE (Maine), are signing on to the legislation.

“As a father, grandfather, and Christian, I am wholeheartedly opposed to any policy that allows innocent children to be separated from their parents as they enter our country," Manchin said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT
"No law requires pulling children from the arms of their parents," he added.

The legislation, spearheaded by Democratic Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump, Putin meet under cloud of Mueller’s Russia indictments Dems launch pressure campaign over migrant families California Dems endorse progressive challenger over Feinstein MORE (Calif.), would only allow children to be separated from a parent if they are being abused, trafficked or if a court decides "it is in the best interests of the child."

As of late last week, it had the support of 43 senators in the caucus. Five more red-state Democrats — Sens. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillSenate Dems lock in million in TV airtime Why does Congress keep playing political games on FBI oversight? Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote MORE (Mo.), Doug Jones (Ala.), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterDem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick Dems in terrible bind on Kavanaugh nomination Election Countdown: Latest on the 2018 Senate money race | Red-state Dems feeling the heat over Kavanaugh | Dem doubts about Warren | Ocasio-Cortez to visit Capitol Hill | Why Puerto Ricans in Florida could swing Senate race MORE (Mont.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyDoug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Overnight Health Care: Official defends suspending insurer payments | What Kavanaugh's nomination means for ObamaCare | Panel approves bill to halt employer mandate MORE (Ind.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampDoug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (N.D.) — announced over the weekend they would sign on to the bill, leaving Manchin as the last remaining holdout.

Manchin, McCaskill, Tester, Donnelly and Heitkamp are running for states easily won by Trump during the 2016 election.

The Feinstein bill, however, faces an unlikely, uphill climb in a GOP-controlled Congress, despite growing backlash over the Trump administration's policies that are resulting in the separation of immigrant families at the border.

No Republican senator has said they will support Feinstein's bill, which would need 60 votes to clear the Senate.

Manchin added on Monday that the United States needs to "secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws" and that he's talking with GOP lawmakers about broader legislation.

"I am actively working with my Republican colleagues to find solutions to the issues that are not addressed" in Feinstein's bill, he said. "I continue to believe that the comprehensive 2013 immigration bill that included 700 miles of fencing, an addition 20,000 border control agents and other measures to secure our border is where we should begin this process."