Republicans on Thursday passed a bill that would block new President Donald Trump’s immigration policy, an effort aimed at blocking more children from entering the United States and raising awareness of the dangers of the program.
The Senate passed the Protect America’s Children Act, a measure that would halt the federal government from issuing new visas for children under age five, a requirement that Trump has used to restrict the entry of immigrants from certain countries.
The legislation would also block the Department of Homeland Security from approving visas to certain foreign countries and would allow children who have already been admitted to the United State under the previous administration to stay on and apply for visas for up to five more years, a time frame that has been extended in some cases to several years.
The bill passed the Senate on a 60-41 vote.
The legislation would have to be signed by Trump before it could take effect.
The Senate is not expected to hold a final vote on the bill until late this month.
The White House has repeatedly criticized the refugee resettlement program, which Trump has promised to roll back and has repeatedly cited as a factor in his election win.
The new legislation would likely be the first time in decades that Congress has enacted legislation blocking the federal resettlement of refugees.
It would be the most comprehensive measure of its kind since the 1990s that Congress passed a law barring the U.S. from accepting refugees from war-torn Iraq.