Cornyn’s proposal would have taken away from the secretary of Homeland Security the power to waive deportations of immigrants with temporary legal status who are guilty of multiple offenses.
Democrats argued that immigrants could be deported for such minor offenses as abandoning a refrigerator, littering or speeding in a business district.
Cornyn countered that many domestic violence crimes are categorized as misdemeanors. He argued that prosecutors often plead felonies down to the level of misdemeanors regardless of the absence of mitigating factors.
Cornyn’s amendment would have removed the secretary’s authority to waive the three-misdemeanor trigger for domestic abusers, child abusers and drunk drivers. It would also have eliminated the requirement that the misdemeanors must occur on different dates to provoke deportation.