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

Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinModerates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats 'Just say no' just won't work for Senate Republicans The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring 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 SandersSanders: Trump was right about 'trying to end endless wars' Democrats battle over best path for Puerto Rico Bernie Sanders says he disagrees with Tlaib's call for 'no more police' MORE (Vt.) and Angus KingAngus KingNew US sanctions further chill Biden-Putin relations Schumer lays groundwork for future filibuster reform Bipartisan lawmakers signal support for Biden cybersecurity picks 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 FeinsteinBiden's gun control push poses danger for midterms Caitlyn Jenner exploring bid for California governor: report WokeWorld comes for 'oppressor' Obama: Activists rip school being named after 'deporter in chief' 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 McCaskillGreitens Senate bid creates headache for GOP The Hill's Morning Report - Biden tasks Harris on border; news conference today Missouri Senate candidate Eric Greitens tangles with Hugh Hewitt in testy interview MORE (Mo.), Doug Jones (Ala.), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterLobbying world The Hill's Morning Report - Biden's infrastructure plan triggers definition debate Lawmakers say fixing border crisis is Biden's job MORE (Mont.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyEverybody wants Joe Manchin Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives Biden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big MORE (Ind.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampBill Maher blasts removal of journalist at Teen Vogue Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives Harrison seen as front-runner to take over DNC at crucial moment 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."