House rejects GOP compromise immigration bill

WITH the ongoing immigration debate in the United States, another bill seeking to address several immigration issues failed to push through this week. 

Despite President Donald Trump’s last-minute call to pass a compromise on immigration, the House of Representatives on Wednesday, June 27, rejected a GOP-led massive overhaul of the American immigration system.

The bill failed with only 121 members voting for it and 301 members — including 112 Republicans — voting against it, highlighting the ongoing inefficacy of both chambers of Congress to resolve the problem with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which Trump arbitrarily terminated last year.

The Border Security and Immigration Act was a collaboration among a tight-knit group of conservatives as a solution for the country’s long list of immigration problems. The measure applied many of Trump’s requests: create a new, merit-based visa program, allocate $25 billion for border security and the wall and establish a solution for recipients of DACA, an Obama-era program that granted benefits for eligible undocumented youth.

It also called for ending family separation at the U.S.-Mexico border by having children remain in the custody of the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) for longer than 20 days along with their parents, who were previously held in the custody of the Justice Department if they were being prosecuted. Specifically, this bill would funnel more money into family detention centers.

“Once again, Republican leaders put a partisan immigration bill on the floor, and it failed overwhelmingly,” said Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Maryland), the House minority whip. “When will they realize that the path forward on immigration and asylum reform must be a bipartisan one?”

Wednesday’s rejection — which came before the House’s week-long recess — adds to the long list of immigration proposals that failed to achieve majority support. Not a single immigration compromise bill has been able to pass through Congress after several attempts by both political parties. Even the president’s last-minute plea to pass this current bill wasn’t enough to garner the needed support.

“HOUSE REPUBLICANS SHOULD PASS THE STRONG BUT FAIR IMMIGRATION BILL, KNOWN AS GOODLATTE II, IN THEIR AFTERNOON VOTE TODAY, EVEN THOUGH THE DEMS WON’T LET IT PASS IN THE SENATE. PASSAGE WILL SHOW THAT WE WANT STRONG BORDERS & SECURITY WHILE DEMS WANT OPEN BORDERS = CRIME. WIN!” the president tweeted early Wednesday.

This year, the Senate rejected a string of immigration measures and Democrats have promised support for legislation that provides a legislative solution for DACA and bolstering border security.

But they have not been willing to support measures with Trump’s more strict demands, including limiting the avenues for legal immigration such as family reunification and the Diversity Visa Program.

The country’s sweeping immigration problem will likely be the de facto political issue going into the midterm elections.

Democrats are harnessing the legislative failures of the GOP on the immigration front to push for folks to vote blue to flip both chambers of Congress, which are currently Republican-majority. (Klarize Medenilla/AJPress)

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