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

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSenate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Senate panel approves Interior nominee over objections from Democrats 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 SandersBernie SandersGillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign DNC boss says candidates to be involved in debate lottery CEO pay rising twice as fast as worker pay: AP MORE (Vt.) and Angus KingAngus Stanley KingSenate panel approves Interior nominee over objections from Democrats Trump, Europe increasingly at odds on Iran The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems raise stakes with talk of 'constitutional crisis' 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.

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

The legislation, spearheaded by Democratic Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFive takeaways from Barr's new powers in 'spying' probe Senate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk Feinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report 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 McCaskillCongress needs to work to combat the poverty, abuse and neglect issues that children face Lobbying world Big Dem names show little interest in Senate MORE (Mo.), Doug Jones (Ala.), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSenate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk Threat of impeachment takes oxygen out of 2019 agenda Overnight Defense: Trump officials say efforts to deter Iran are working | Trump taps new Air Force secretary | House panel passes defense bill that limits border wall funds MORE (Mont.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyK Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers Obama honors 'American statesman' Richard Lugar Former GOP senator Richard Lugar dies at 87 MORE (Ind.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOn The Money: Stocks sink on Trump tariff threat | GOP caught off guard by new trade turmoil | Federal deficit grew 38 percent this fiscal year | Banks avoid taking position in Trump, Dem subpoena fight Fight over Trump's new NAFTA hits key stretch Former senators launching effort to help Dems win rural votes 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."