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Immigration Deal Taking Shape in House With Deadline Approaching

12 June 2018

But even as they gathered in a Capitol basement meeting room, there were no indications that a deal mending the party's chasm over immigration was at hand and no definitive details of where middle ground might be.

The progress came after House GOP members spent two hours behind closed doors huddling Thursday morning, a rare full-party confab on the issue of immigration. Ryan wants to remain speaker through the remainder of this Congress.

A leader of House moderates says his group has tentatively agreed to an offer from conservatives to help young "Dreamer" immigrants stay in the USA legally.

If a bill passes the House, its fate in the Senate is unclear.

Trump announced he would end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allowed almost 700,000 young immigrants to obtain permits to work and temporarily stay in the U.S. But the program largely continues temporarily, pending an unresolved legal battle.

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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.

Members left the room Thursday expressing optimism but seeing little evidence of an imminent breakthrough.

Dr Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro, a professor in gender studies at the University of Southern California, said: "We are two years away from the 100 year anniversary of women getting the right to vote in this country".

"Members were running a discharge petition because they were anxious we weren't going to take action", Ryan told reporters after the meeting. He expressed uncertainty over what would happen after that, but said participants have characterized the proposal as a bridge to the legal immigration system - which suggests a pathway to remaining in the USA permanently. Furious, conservatives showed their strength by tanking an unrelated agriculture bill over the issue of immigration.

That petition allows moderates to bypass more conservative Republican leaders to force an immigration vote on the House floor. What's more, the issue is already front-and-center in the midterm contests. "It's about protecting Republican incumbents", he said. Meadows declined to comment on that claim. Trump previously announced he was ending the DACA program but it remains in place as a result of a legal battle. He called the discussion "productive" and said he's hopeful a compromise built around the president's four pillars can be reached to stop the discharge petition. "We have the signatures, we have the people ready to go down and sign, and we've been working with leadership to give them enough time to put a bill together and to bring this in front of our conference". Only six percent (6%) say they are less likely to do so, while 30% say they are just as likely to vote this November as in any other year.

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Thursday's meeting came after a smaller group of negotiators struggled on Wednesday to agree on compromise immigration legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for the dreamers, defuse the GOP rebellion and bridge the divide between the party's warring factions. If the bill comes to the floor before lawmakers succeed with the discharge petition, the effort could be stymied.

That said, it does also encourage a new kind of gamesmanship, as we saw in the multi-candidate field for governor.

Democrats and many Republicans have opposed curbs in legal immigration.

The flurry underscored the escalating pressure Republicans face to address immigration, an issue pitting centrists representing Hispanic and moderate voters against conservatives with deep-red constituents sympathetic to President Donald Trump's anti-immigrant outbursts.

Even if every lawmaker at the negotiating table were acting in good faith, a deal might still be doubtful just based on the policy differences ― at least before Tuesday, when moderates are expected to gather the final three signatures they need to reach 218 supporters of a discharge petition.

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Republican Representative Jim Jordan, another Freedom Caucus leader, said "Heck yes" when asked whether the wall was an important part of the closed-door negotiations.

Immigration Deal Taking Shape in House With Deadline Approaching