Ryan: Trump is all in on im­mi­gra­tion votes

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - NATION&WORLD2 -

WASH­ING­TON — Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said at a closed meet­ing of House Repub­li­cans on Wed­nes­day that his plan to bring two im­mi­gra­tion bills up for a vote next week had the ap­proval of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, who is en­thu­si­as­tic about the ef­fort, ac­cord­ing to a per­son who at­tended the meet­ing.

Whether ei­ther bill can pass is very much in doubt.

Wed­nes­day’s gath­er­ing came less than 12 hours after Ryan’s office an­nounced the House would con­sider im­mi­gra­tion next week — but not bi­par­ti­san bills aimed pri­mar­ily at pro­tect­ing young im­mi­grants brought to the coun­try il­le­gally as chil­dren.

In­stead, law­mak­ers will con­sider a hard-line mea­sure that em­pha­sizes bor­der se­cu­rity and a some­what more mod­er­ate com­pro­mise mea­sure, yet to be fi­nal­ized, that still meets Trump’s stan­dards.

But the ap­proval of an im­mi­gra­tion hard-liner like Trump only un­der­scored the grow­ing sense that a re­bel­lion by mod­er­ate Repub­li­cans seek­ing bi­par­ti­san­ship had ut­terly failed. It un­der­scored the re­al­ity that the pres­i­dent has ef­fec­tively ac­quired the last say over the ac­tions of Congress.

Law­mak­ers at­tend­ing the meet­ing said the com­pro­mise bill will be built around four prin­ci­ples that the pres­i­dent has in­sisted any im­mi­gra­tion bill con­tain. They are a path to ci­ti­zen­ship for the young, unau­tho­rized chil­dren known as Dream­ers; beefed-up bor­der se­cu­rity, in­clud­ing $25 bil­lion for the wall the pres­i­dent wants to build; an end to the cur­rent di­ver­sity visa lot­tery sys­tem; and lim­its on fam­ily-based, or “chain,” mi­gra­tion.

Ryan told re­porters that the “last thing I want to do is bring a bill out of here that I know the pres­i­dent won’t sup­port.”

Democrats slammed the plan as a be­trayal of bi­par­ti­san ef­forts to ad­dress the fate of Dream­ers.

“Let’s be clear: These Repub­li­can pro­pos­als aren’t to pro­vide re­lief for Dream­ers; they’re an av­enue for mass de­por­ta­tions and to stoke fear in com­mu­ni­ties, said Tom Perez, chair­man of the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee.

The hard-line bill, known as the Good­latte bill after its chief au­thor, Rep. Robert W. Good­latte, R-6th, is highly un­likely to get enough votes to pass the House.

But the com­pro­mise bill also faces a highly ques­tion­able path.

“I don’t think any­one’s in a po­si­tion to make any guar­an­tees on whether a bill will pass or not,” said Rep. Car­los Curbelo, R-Fla., a leader of mod­er­ate Repub­li­cans who have pushed for the House to vote on im­mi­gra­tion.

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