President Donald Trump has made it clear that he supports the approach House Republican lawmakers are taking with the recent versions of immigration bills.
“Technically, the president gave his endorsement to two bills — one by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., that is popular with immigration hard-liners and a second “compromise” measure that reflects a deal between GOP conservatives and moderates — both of which House leaders are likely to put on the floor later this week,” writes NBC News.
On Tuesday, Trump told House Republicans that he is backing the bill, which grants citizenship rights to young illegal immigrants often known as “Dreamers,” while providing almost $25 billion for Trump’s border wall.
The bill also “limits the chain of family migration and ends the visa lottery, checks off all the boxes on his immediate immigration wish list,” writes The Washington Times.
“He says, ‘I am behind you 1,000 percent and I am not going to leave you out to dry,’ ” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wa.,) chairwoman of the House Republican Conference.
Trump also urged lawmakers to find a solution to the family separation issue.
“We gotta take care of separation,” said Trump, according to the lawmakers in a closed-door meeting in the basement of the Capitol. “It’s too nasty.”
“Homeland Security @SecNielsen did a fabulous job yesterday at the press conference explaining security at the border and for our country, while at the same time recommending changes to obsolete & nasty laws, which force family separation. We want “heart” and security in America!” tweeted Trump.
“In his remarks, he endorsed both House immigration bills that build the wall, close legal loopholes, cancel the visa lottery, curb chain migration, and solve the border crisis and family separation issue by allowing for family detention and removal,” said Raj Shah, White House Spokesman.
Although Trump gave his stamp of approval on the legislation, it’s going to be a close vote.
“It’s going to be close,” said Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) who helped write the compromise bill. “This is a very challenging issue, very controversial. All members are going to have to take some risks to make this happen.”
The bill needs at least 218 Republican votes to pass.
However, liberals are arguing that the pathway for legalization for dreamers needs to be more generous.
“The bill would grant full legal status and a path to citizenship to people who qualify for the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The bill also would end the visa lottery and limit the types of family members who can be sponsored for immigration. It takes those visas and uses them for the DACA population and other children brought to the U.S. illegally as minors by their parents,” writes The Washington Times. “In terms of enforcement, the bill allows the Department of Homeland Security to detain more people and deport them faster, and it increases the threshold for people attempting to claim asylum, with a goal of reducing fraudulent claims that have clogged the system.”
Again, the bill offers a solution to the family separation problem.
The bill extends the waiting period for holding children and their parents in immigration detention facilities for longer than 20 days.
Illegal immigrant parents that have misdemeanor charges now will be held in immigration detention with their children.
Not everyone is pleased with the compromise.
Chris Crane, the president of National ICE Council, the union for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE,) urged Trump to stand against the bill and claims it falls short of the president’s campaign promises.
“You pledged publicly to ‘have the backs’ of the men and women of ICE law enforcement. I am asking you to keep that promise,” said Crane.
Goodlatte argues that the compromise is what is needed to get immigration policy passed.
“But we really have to do something that can get to 218 votes, and some of the people who are in that negotiation did not support their request,” said Goodlatte. “This happened very quickly, and if they don’t think they were consulted enough, I understand that.”
“The system has been broke for many years,” said Trump this week. “It’s been a really bad, bad system, probably the worst anywhere in the world. We’re going to try and see if we can fix it.”
Author’s note: These bills get Trump’s border wall built, along with other campaign promises, like closing legal loopholes and limiting chain migration. It offers a compromise also, so let’s hope we can finally get some immigration policy in place.