Saturday, 21 July, 2018

SWAMP STRIKES BACK: Conservative Immigration Bill FAILS, 41 Republicans Vote AGAINST

Rep. Mark Meadows R-N.C. center chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus flanked by Rep. Tom Graves R-Ga. Rep. Jeb Hensarling R-Texas talk before a series of votes in the House Mark Meadows to FBN: I am not running for House Speaker
Gerardo Duncan | 23 June, 2018, 14:19

The Democratic leader says the bills make House Republicans "complicit" in President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" policy that has resulted in more than 2,000 children being separated from their parents at the border.

But House Republicans are moving forward as planned with efforts to pass immigration legislation, said Represenative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the majority whip.

Mr Trump has often chafed at this, which also leaves his party vulnerable to dissent by just one or two Republican senators.

The moderates agreed to hold off on a discharge petition that would have forced four immigration votes - two on bills supported more by Democrats and than Republicans - to negotiate a compromise with their GOP colleagues.

That said, there is one narrow piece of immigration policy that Congress might actually be able to pass: namely, some measure that prevents immigration authorities from separating migrants from their children.

Media captionThe sound of migrant children separated from parents What is Trump's strategy? The vote is delayed until next week.

After Trump's executive order, a host of unanswered questions remained, including what will happen to the children already separated from their parents and where the government will house all the newly detained migrants in an already overcrowded system. Some parents said they didn't even know where their children were. The compromise bill allows those who qualified for DACA under the 2012 standards to apply for a six-year, indefinitely renewable legal status. A day earlier, the Pentagon agreed to provide space for as many as 20,000 migrants on USA military bases.

President Trump honored "American victims of illegal immigration" on Friday - by autographing photos of their dead loved ones and quipping about their physical appearance.

Even if the House Republicans approve a bill, it faces nearly certain defeat in the upper chamber, where the Republicans also hold a majority but where Democrats hold enough seats to prevent the GOP from reaching the 60 votes needed for passage.

"We can not allow our country to be overrun by illegal immigrants", the president tweeted.

Both bills have received backing from Mr Trump but are opposed by Democrats and immigration advocacy groups.

Visas - The conservative bill eliminates the diversity lottery and family visas for relatives other than spouses and minor children.

The two-term Democrat said numerous children are very young, including some too young to identify their parents.

Republican Representative Mark Sanford said on CNN Friday morning that the president's tweet is "game over" for immigration reform.

But even some House Republicans vented their frustration over the slapdash process that did not provide for amendments to a bill that was thrust upon members in the past 72 hours with a pep talk by President Donald Trump.

U.S. House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (L) speaks as Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan listens during a news conference on June 20, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Trump's tweet came one day after the House failed to pass a conservative immigration bill introduced by Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.).

But numerous parents at Friday's event, including Wilkerson, echoed Trump's remarks, suggesting that the migrant families would be reunited within days. House Republicans must be wondering why they should stick their necks out to back broad amnesty legislation, which their base doesn't want, if it's not likely to clear the Senate.

But the central piece of Trump's attempts to counter-program against the despairing images at the border was to stand with the "angel families", as he did repeatedly during his presidential campaign, including at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Bombarded with criticism condemning the family-separation situation as a national moment of shame, Trump came back firing, sometimes twisting facts and changing his story but nonetheless highlighting the genuine grief of families on the other side of the equation.

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