Moderate House Republicans are pushing a deal that could lead to citizenship for young “Dreamer” immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally. But Trump told “Fox & Friends” in an interview that aired Thursday that unless a bill “includes a wall, and I mean a wall, a real wall, and unless it includes very strong border security, there’ll be no approvals from me.”
The mavericks would succeed if they collect 218 signatures — a majority of House members — on a petition, a seldom-used procedure. The proposal would allow votes on a liberal plan, a conservative one, a bipartisan compromise and any bill chosen by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
A small group of Republicans has launched an effort to sidestep House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and put immigration legislation on the House floor this year in a bid to secure protections for young undocumented immigrants.
The legislators want the House to vote on four bills including a bipartisan compromise, a conservative proposal and a liberal plan. Many of them face potentially competitive re-election races in November in congressional districts with large numbers of Hispanic, suburban or other voters with pro-immigration views.
As Trump’s erratic presidency continues to spike the stress levels of a majority of Americans, Ryan has picked the path of least resistance and abandoned the sinking ship that is the House Republican caucus.
“There’s a deal to take care of them and get the border wall we desperately need, plus interior enforcement to make us safer,” the South Carolina Republican said on ABC’s “This Week.” “That deal can be done, and I’ll make a prediction on this show that there’ll be another effort to marry up border security and DACA.”
While the administration continues to pressure Congress to grant it broad new authorities, just the past week illustrates how substantial a change is already underway, with each individual move adding up to an effort that could have lasting effects on how the US welcomes and evaluates immigrants.
Disputes remain over immigration enforcement and a smaller infusion of wall funding, as well as a major rail project that pits Trump against his most powerful Democratic adversary, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado says his measure would give Congress more time to decide how help the so-called Dreamers. They are young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children who have only temporary protection to stay here.
Prospects for an immigration overhaul in 2018 dimmed after the U.S. Senate blocked four different bills in February. These included a bipartisan measure that would have provided $25 billion for border security and a path to citizenship for 1.8 million children of undocumented immigrants set to lose protection from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, or DACA.