Details of the measure remained in negotiation between conservatives and moderates.
LISA MASCARO | ALAN FRAM
Washington, US | June 13
President Donald Trump backs compromise immigration legislation that House Republican leaders are trying to craft in hopes of ending the party’s standoff over the issue, Speaker Paul Ryan told GOP lawmakers Wednesday. Details of the measure remained in negotiation between conservatives and moderates, and whatever emerges faces an uphill climb.
Ryan, R-Wis., described Trump’s support to fellow Republicans at a closed-door meeting Wednesday, lawmakers said. The president’s backing would bolster the chances that the package could pass the House over likely solid Democratic opposition, but enough Republicans could still defect to sink it.
Ryan addressed his colleagues a day after planning two votes next week on a pair of competing GOP immigration measures, one by conservatives and the other a stillevolving plan that leaders hope will appeal to both ends of the party’s spectrum.
Ryan told lawmakers that he spoke to Trump on Tuesday and “the president seemed very supportive” of the compromise bill that’s being drafted, Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., told reporters. That was echoed by Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., who said, “I know the president, according to Paul today, supports it.”
The conservative bill would offer limited opportunities for young “Dreamer” immigrants to stay in the country legally and include tough border security measures, but it is widely expected to be defeated by a combination of Democrats and moderate Republicans. An alternative that leaders are still crafting would offer those immigrants a potential pathway to citizenship and address Trump’s demands to limit legal immigration, but its fate is uncertain.
Ryan told reporters the votes would give Republicans “an actual chance at making law and solving this problem.” He also acknowledged the political pressure Republicans face to show their positions on the issue, saying the process will allow “the votes that everybody is looking for.”
The bills would represent the GOP’s attempt to help Dreamers, young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Trump last year terminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which has temporarily shielded hundreds of thousands of them from deportation. Federal courts have kept the program functioning for now.
With his planned votes, Ryan effectively blocked unhappy moderates who’d been trying to force votes on several immigration bills. Those included two bills, opposed by GOP leaders, that would have provided a clear pathway to citizenship for the immigrants.