Friday, 16 November, 2018

GOP moderate: Tentative immigration deal with conservatives

House Republicans are bracing for a two-hour conference meeting Thursday morning on immigration which could determine the fate of moderate members efforts to force a vote on several immigration bills GOP moderate: Tentative immigration deal with conservatives
Melinda Barton | 13 June, 2018, 07:13

Reporters pursue Marc Short, the White House legislative liaison, as House Republicans try to bridge their party's internal struggle over immigration at a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday.

After a Thursday morning Republican conference meeting, House Speaker Paul Ryan said lawmakers are now focusing on reaching a compromise that he says will have a better chance of becoming law.

Some Republicans said they fear their party is headed for a repeat of 1986, when the Reagan amnesty granted permanent legal residence to 2.7 million people and promised stiff sanctions on employers who hired illegal immigrants, better border controls and checks on migrants applying for some welfare.

He said the moderates appear to be willing to hold off "because they see the consensus of the conference". Denham said he's waiting for details from the conservative House Freedom Caucus on additional requirements and limits to other visas have been put down in writing.

Lawmakers said after the meeting they were making progress but it was unlikely they could produce legislation by Tuesday. His top two deputies, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., are angling for leadership promotions in the next Congress.

The moderates' petition would force House votes on four immigration bills, ranging from a liberal one helping Dreamers win citizenship to a conservative version curbing legal immigration.

But House conservatives, anxious that a vote on a pathway to citizenship could frustrate their base opposed to "amnesty" ahead of the midterms have pushed for a vote on Rep. McCaul's legislation with Rep.

In addition, the conservatives want to end a lottery that grants visas to countries with few immigrants to the US and curb the relatives who can be brought over by immigrants, Walker said.

The key dispute: Moderates are seeking a way to give legal status to hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children, while conservatives opposing granting them a special pathway to citizenship. Conservatives said later that no agreement has been reached, underscoring how elusive it has been for the GOP to resolve its long-running schism over the issue.

"More Republicans turned out than Democrats, and the seventh one was just by a little bit that the Democrats turned out". It combines permits for the Dreamers with those for immigrants who now use other programs, including the diversity lottery and family visas.

"I think a lot of it hangs on that meeting tomorrow", said Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, earlier in the day. Or would you go farther and give them a path to citizenship? Painfully aware of those divisions, leaders had seemed happy to sidestep the issue until the moderates' rebellion forced their hand.

A push by House Republicans for immigration legislation stems from Trump's decision to end an Obama-era program protecting from deportation hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who were brought into the United States illegally when they were children, commonly known as "Dreamers". Hard issues included which Dreamers would qualify for protections and whether they eventually could become USA citizens, lawmakers said.

Conservatives have been adamant about not providing a "special" process carving out a unique way for those young immigrants to gain legal status. They launched a rare procedural maneuver, called a "discharge petition", that would bypass GOP leaders and set up votes on the competing immigration measures, including a bipartisan proposal that would grant citizenship to undocumented immigrants who came to the children.

The biggest factor is President Donald Trump.

But before members of the GOP put the Champagne on ice in expectation of a big win in the midterm elections November 6, they should listen to the cautionary wisdom of two professionals who have, through decades of national elections, jointly conducted that Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey, Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart and Republican pollster Bill McInturff.

Trump has said that in exchange for providing possible citizenship for them, he wants full financing for his wall with Mexico.

Republican Reps. Will Hurd of Texas and Carlos Curbelo of Florida introduced a discharge petition May 9 hoping to force action on immigration reform.

Poll managers will ask registered voters whether they want to vote in the Democratic or Republican primary.

Denham said the deal includes funding for border security, including the wall, an eight-year path to citizenship for "Dreamers" and no e-verify.