Welch opposes Republican-backed immigration proposals in House

Geraldine Edwards
June 30, 2018

Pundits said the House likely would reject the leadership bill.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told a Senate hearing on Tuesday that most of the 2,000-plus children who had been separated from their parents could not be reunited with them until Congress passes new legislation.

The House could still vote as early as this week on a narrower measure that is still being developed and that would focus specifically on the family separations issue. This legislation failed to pass the House by a recorded vote of 121-301.

Trump has demanded that Congress resolve the family separations with legislation, in the face of an uproar at home and overseas over the separation of more than 2,300 children from their parents as a result of his administration's policy of "zero tolerance" toward illegal immigration.

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"This bill is even stronger than the last bill at building the wall, front-loading the money, so President Trump can have the money to build the wall, close loopholes, re-unite families, all of those things", Scalise said.

It also provides for the allocation of $25 billion on securing the border with Mexico, including the construction of the wall. At first, Trump said he wouldn't back the compromise bill in an interview with Fox News only to have his staff issue a statement later that day saying he would back it. The gulf between the GOP's moderate and conservative wings proved too deep for leaders to avert an election-year display of division on the issue. Two Republicans did not cast votes on Wednesday. Still, Curbelo said, "a lot of good has come" from the past few weeks of immigration discussions. One would make it easier for migrant farmworkers to stay longer in the country, the other would gradually require companies to use an electronic database to verify their employees' USA citizenship.

The vote makes it absolutely clear - once again - that the only path forward to protecting "Dreamers" is a bipartisan process that leads to votes on bipartisan legislation, said Todd Schultz, president of FWD.us which is backed by top IT companies.

The Democratic establishment has not shied away from the party's evergrowing, open support for open borders and zero immigration enforcement.

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She said the House needs to think smaller for solutions.

Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican who is chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus, introduced his own version of a bill that would not only allow families to be detained together, but would also change the standard for asylum applications.

He proposed the Democrats' family separation fix instead. But with lawmakers set to return home Thursday for the July recess, a timetable for that legislation is unclear. But community groups say it is not enough, demanding Trump's administration stop caging and prosecuting immigrants.

Faced with both domestic and global outrage, Trump last week signed an executive order to halt the family separation practice, but made no specific provisions for those already split apart.

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