Repub­li­cans hope to unite party with im­mi­gra­tion plan.

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY STEPHEN DI­NAN AND SETH MCLAUGH­LIN

Repub­li­cans tried to build sup­port Wed­nes­day for their com­pro­mise im­mi­gra­tion plan, say­ing they’ve come up with some­thing that can unite the GOP and get Pres­i­dent Trump’s sig­na­ture.

Pre­par­ing for the first ma­jor House im­mi­gra­tion floor de­bate in eight years, Speaker Paul D. Ryan was hash­ing out fi­nal de­tails on the com­pro­mise, which he will put up for votes next week.

“This has a chance of go­ing into law,” Mr. Ryan said after a party cau­cus meet­ing Wed­nes­day.

Ac­cord­ing to a draft out­line, the plan the GOP is work­ing on would al­low “Dream­ers,” those who il­le­gally crossed into the U.S. as chil­dren, to get in line for ci­ti­zen­ship.

The plan would also au­tho­rize and fund Mr. Trump’s bor­der wall, raise the bur­den of proof on asy­lum claims, al­low faster de­por­ta­tion of some il­le­gal im­mi­grants in­clud­ing chil­dren, limit the chain of fam­ily mi­gra­tion and elim­i­nate the di­ver­sity visa lot­tery that doles out 55,000 im­mi­gra­tion passes each year.

And the bill would ex­plic­itly pre­vent sep­a­ra­tion of chil­dren from their par­ents at the bor­der, ac­cord­ing to the draft.

Still to be de­cided is the size and de­tails of the path­way to ci­ti­zen­ship. One op­tion would only cover Dream­ers, while an­other op­tion would cover chil­dren whose par­ents came on tem­po­rary le­gal visas.

The White House sig­naled its sup­port for the plan, though many rank-and-file Repub­li­cans were wait­ing to see the fi­nal bill.

Rep. Mark Mead­ows, the head of the con­ser­va­tive Free­dom Cau­cus, said the pres­i­dent could sway mem­bers.

“Could he move 100 peo­ple be­cause he says he likes it? The an­swer is ‘No,’” Mr. Mead­ows said. “Can he move a dozen or so? The an­swer is ‘Yes.’”

GOP lead­ers dodged a bul­let this week after a rene­gade group of mod­er­ate Repub­li­cans failed to muster enough sup­port for a pe­ti­tion drive that would have forced voted on a series of bills, in­clud­ing a Demo­crat-backed op­tion with a more gen­er­ous amnesty and far less en­force­ment.

In­stead, the GOP will al­low two votes: one on the com­pro­mise still be­ing worked out, and the other on an en­force­ment-heavy bill authored by House Ju­di­ciary Chair­man Bob Good­latte.

Mr. Good­latte’s bill would write Pres­i­dent Obama’s De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Arrivals pro­gram into law, grant­ing Dream­ers a firmer le­gal foot­ing but with­out the new path­way to ci­ti­zen­ship that many have de­manded.

That bill is not ex­pected to win a ma­jor­ity.

In­stead, the attention is on the com­pro­mise, which Mr. Ryan says matches the four pil­lars of re­form Mr. Trump laid out ear­lier this year.

“We’ve been work­ing hand-in-glove with the ad­min­is­tra­tion on this, to make sure that we’re bring­ing a bill that rep­re­sents the pres­i­dent’s four pil­lars so that we can come to­gether, have the votes that ev­ery­body’s look­ing for,” he said.

Mr. Trump’s “four pil­lars” blue­print called for a path­way to ci­ti­zen­ship for up to 1.8 mil­lion il­le­gal im­mi­grants, com­bined with his bor­der wall, elim­i­na­tion of the visa lot­tery and lim­its to the num­ber of fam­ily mem­bers a le­gal im­mi­grant could spon­sor.

Rep. Scott Perry, Penn­syl­va­nia Repub­li­can and mem­ber of the Free­dom Cau­cus, said the “devil is in the de­tails” of the com­pro­mise — in par­tic­u­lar when it comes to se­cu­rity. “We all just need to take a breath and see what we’ve got be­fore we get too ex­cited about it one way or the other,” Mr. Perry said.

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