U.S. House rejects compromise bill on border family separations

Marsha Scott
June 30, 2018

The Republican-majority U.S. House of Representatives rejected another immigration bill on Wednesday that would have addressed the chaotic and "borderline torture" policy of separating immigrant families arriving at the U.S. -Mexico border.

The 121-301 vote came after all Democrats maintained their stance of opposition to the president's immigration agenda, and many conservative Republicans voted against the bill after they expressed skepticism about what some saw as amnesty measures included in the moderate plan.

Despite weeks of debate and negotiations over the details of the measure, the bill fell short of the 193 votes a more conservative version of immigration reform garnered last week.

Before the vote, Democrat Adriano Espaillat said on the floor of the House: "We need to finally ask ourselves: Will we continue to be a country of aspirations, or will we continue to be a country of deportation?"

It also keeps government agencies from taking migrant children away from detained parents and creates a path to citizenship for so-called "Dreamers" - illegal immigrants brought to the United States when they were young.

The proposal the House defeated Wednesday was billed as a compromise between the conservative and moderate members of the House Republican caucus.

"Immigration reform is a very complicated, difficult, and emotional issue", he said in a statement on June 27. It didn't matter. almost half of the Republican caucus voted against the bill as, of course, did the Democrats.

The House plans its showdown roll call on the Republican immigration bill for Wednesday.

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The House members said that "multiple reports" indicate the administration "failed to put in place adequate protocols to reunite children with their parents".

House leaders had twice delayed a vote on the bill, which was initially set for last Thursday.

The proposed legislation would have created a guest worker program for the agriculture sector and would have required employers to use E-Verify to confirm the immigration status of employees.

"There is no excuse for today's failed immigration vote", Roberts said, accusing Love of "showboating in an election year - focusing more on headlines and press releases than doing the work it takes to bring people together and solve problems".

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment on whether the administration would appeal, and Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that "we're going to see" whether it would fight the court order.

House Speaker Paul Ryan labeled the legislation "a great consensus bill" and tried putting the best face on the likely outcome. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a Republican from Florida, said the Republicans who opposed the bill "prefer petty politics of immigration instead of the solutions for immigration".

Yet the title of the president's action makes its true intent clear: "Executive Order Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation". "This is about [the president] getting $25 billion for a wall and another $7 billion to hold families in detention", said Rep. Adriano Espaillat, New York Democrat.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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