Published: Sat, June 30, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

US House defeats broad Republican immigration bill

US House defeats broad Republican immigration bill

The more moderate Republican proposal to reform the United States immigration system failed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, dealing a massive blow to Republican leaders and President Donald Trump.

Children who cross the U.S. -Mexico border with their parents or legal guardians would no longer be separated from their parents when the adults are taken into custody by the Department of Homeland Security for the misdemeanor crime of crossing the border illegally.

The White House is formally telling Congress that President Donald Trump supports a Republican immigration bill on which the House is about to vote.

"You could see it in the vote last week, and this week there's probably a little bit more of a divide", Scalise said earlier Wednesday on the "Fox & Friends" television show, before blaming Democrats for the impasse. Democrats were excluded from drafting the measure.

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.

"What we witnessed today was a minority of Republicans joining every Democrat in the House to double down on a failed, broken, inefficient, unfair and at times cruel immigration system", congressman Carlos Curbelo, a Republican from Florida, said after the vote, the Guardian reported.

GOP leaders have been trying to garner support anyway, and Trump's Wednesday tweet was emailed to House Republicans in an effort to sway some representatives.

The election-year response to the public uproar over the policy comes as a broader immigration package was headed toward likely defeat in the House this week.

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The bill would end "excessive regulatory burdens" - such as requiring employers to provide housing and transportation for migrant workers, according to a summary of the bill by Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee. And that assumes it gets more than the 121 votes the most recent bill got on Wednesday.

The failure was inevitable as Republican leadership conducted virtually no real arm-twisting of members on the fence, a high-ranking GOP aide told Business Insider.

Customs and border protection officials say President Donald Trump's order last week to stop splitting up families at the border required a temporary halt to prosecuting parents and guardians unless they had a criminal history.

The US senate rejected three proposals in February, including one reflecting Mr Trump's hard-line policies and two bipartisan plans.

For weeks, the Trump administration fought off criticism for the separation of migrant children, claiming they had no choice but to enforce the law.

Rep. Peter Welch voted against both immigration measures.

"That's an essential part of the whole issue", said Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a House Freedom Caucus leader. It also allocated money for family detention centers.

But, the group continues to work and there is still no compromise legislation in the Senate. "But a lot of our members want to be able to express themselves by voting for the policies that they like, so that they can express their votes on the floor".

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