New Hampshire’s two U.S. senators joined the Democratic majority to keep the Laken Riley Act out of the $1.2 trillion spending bill passed last weekend, one of several votes they cast opposing increased immigration enforcement.

Sen. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) proposed an amendment adding the language of the Laken Riley Act, which has already passed the House in a bipartisan vote. Among the 37 Democrats who backed it was Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.).

His New Hampshire colleague, Rep. Annie Kuster (D), voted against it.

“The amendment I am offering prevents illegal aliens who’ve committed the crimes of burglary, theft, or shoplifting from being granted legal status or citizenship,” Budd told his fellow senators late Friday night. “This is particularly relevant in the case of Laken Riley, where the illegal alien who murdered her had previously been arrested for those crimes. The American people need to know who stands on this side of preventing tragedies and who will enable them.”

The amendment was defeated in a 51-47 vote.

“America’s open borders are both extremely dangerous to our citizens and a slap in the face to the many law-abiding legal immigrants,” said New Hampshire GOP chair Chris Ager. “Democrats are going to lose in November because of this madness.”

Senate Democrats also rejected amendments that would have:

  • Kept some federal funds from local jurisdictions engaged in sanctuary city policies;
  • Barred illegal immigrants convicted of assaulting police officers from ever accessing legal residency in the U.S.;
  • Blocked funding Biden administration-approved flights that have carried hundreds of thousands of “paroled” migrants from countries like Haiti and Venezuela to the U.S.

Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) offered the latter amendment.

“Do you support American taxpayer dollars being used to fly illegal immigrants from countries like Venezuela and Haiti into America to be settled in cities and towns near you?” Hagerty asked from the Senate floor.

“This practice of using taxpayer dollars to charter planes that move and impart thousands of illegal aliens into your states. Biden has been secretly flying hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens from foreign countries to blue-city airports,” Hagerty said.

The Biden administration has acknowledged it is using a “humanitarian parole” system to fly 30,000 people from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela directly to the U.S. every month. It denies tax dollars are being used. The administration has also refused to reveal the names of the 43 U.S. airports that have received 320,000 of the parole-recipient immigrants.

One of those paroled immigrants flown to the U.S. is now under arrest for raping a handicapped 15-year-old at a state-run migrant shelter in Massachusetts earlier this month. Asked about the security and vetting process in the shelters, Gov. Maura Healey (D-Mass.) told a Boston TV station, “It is unfortunate, from time to time, things will happen.”

Hassan and Shaheen would not respond to NHJournal’s questions about their votes on the amendments. However, Shaheen did issue a press release touting the $1.2 trillion in federal spending she supported. Among the lists of accomplishments Shaheen celebrated was the Senate stripping a House GOP-backed rider to prevent the Biden administration from using regulations to ban gas stoves.

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, now a resident of Rye, N.H., says the two Granite State Democrats are putting the national party ahead of New Hampshire voters.

“National Democrats, including Sens. Shaheen and Hassan, have made it clear through their votes and actions that they are not interested in securing the border or getting tough on illegal immigration. They are interested in carrying water for the Biden administration, which created this problem by rolling back everything that was working under the last administration. Our country is on the wrong track, and there is no more pressing issue than getting serious about the southern border.

“Our state deserves much better,” Brown said. “Time for change.”