GOP Immigration Moderates Say They'll Force House Votes On Legislation

GOP Immigration Moderates Say They'll Force House Votes On Legislation
Denham leads push to help 'Dreamers'
Author

11 May, 2018

The filing would require the signatures of a majority of House members to move forward, but could provide a procedural end-run around GOP leadership, which has shut down DACA debate.

Pro-DACA supporters protest outside Capitol Hill.

Under House rules, the earliest the chamber would consider the moderates' proposal for votes is late June.

The effort has been led by moderate Republican Reps. The group filed the petition Wednesday and began collecting signatures.

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan has been blocking his chamber from voting on a Dreamer bill. "It would be an approach that would rely on mostly Democratic votes and some Republicans to pass their bill, and that's not the way to solve this problem".

Mr. Ryan said he does want to get some bill done before November, but said the generous legalization plans the rebels are backing would only produce "show" votes that, even if they succeed in the House, would be vetoed by Mr. Trump.

A conservative House bill would let DACA recipients stay in the USA temporarily but would also reduce legal immigration, allow construction of Trump's proposed border wall with Mexico and crack down on sanctuary cities that don't cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

The Senate in February failed in an attempt to pass legislation giving permanent protections for Dreamers that would allow them to live and work legally in the United States and possibly even win citizenship.

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The third bill, the Securing America's Future Act, colloquially known as the Goodlatte Bill, seeks temporary status for DACA recipients.

The proposal, written by Republican Rep. That program lets immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children stay in the country for renewable two-year periods. The measures never received House votes.

Mr. Ryan and fellow Republican leaders have reason to be concerned, given some 30 to 40 other Republicans have previously signaled they wanted to see the debate happen, creating a pool of likely candidates to sign the discharge petition.

By Wednesday afternoon, at least 16 more Republicans had joined Denham, Hurd and Curbelo in signing the petition, with most representing swing districts with significant Latino constituencies, while others are representatives planning on retiring from the House. "He just told us that he didn't think this was the best way to proceed". "Immigration has paralyzed the institution for too long", Curbelo said.

Members on both sides say they are frustrated by negotiations with the White House over border security and protection for immigrants who are in the country after being brought as children to the country illegally.

Ryan hasn't formally weighed in, but he has for months called on House members to work on crafting immigration legislation through normal committee channels - a position reiterated Wednesday by Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong. Ryan has tried unsuccessfully to round up enough support for the conservative alternative and has said he doesn't want votes on immigration legislation that Trump won't sign.

The immigration debate has always been left simmering after four immigration bills brought up for a vote in February failed to pass, with each measure falling short of the necessary 60 votes.


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