Freedom Caucus offers immigration compromise to keep 'Dreamers' in U.S.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher R-Calif. speaks to reporters as he emerges from a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill where House Republicans are trying to bridge their party's internal struggle over immigration in Washington Thursday

House Republicans grapple with immigration debate, don't reach deal in 2-hour huddle

But party leaders say they'll try crafting a compromise.

Denham said moderates had agreed to accept border security measures as part of the accord, including backing the full $25 billion President Donald Trump wants to construct his proposed wall with Mexico.

Denham said that without a deal, the moderates' threat to force the House to consider four immigration bills remains in effect.

Meadows, however, said if Labrador is making offers, they are not on behalf of the Freedom Caucus. His top two deputies, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., are angling for leadership promotions in the next Congress.

Without an agreement with conservatives and party leaders, the centrists warn they will have enough signatures by Tuesday on a petition to force House votes later this month on bills for the young immigrants.

But House conservatives, anxious that a vote on a pathway to citizenship could frustrate their base opposed to "amnesty" ahead of the midterms have pushed for a vote on Rep. McCaul's legislation with Rep.

"Now we've got this trigger of "we can do this" and "we have an obligation to do this" there's more of an unwillingness to sit by when we're represented by less than 20% of the people in Congress being women".

In addition, the conservatives want to end a lottery that grants visas to countries with few immigrants to the USA and curb the relatives who can be brought over by immigrants, Walker said. There are now several holdouts waiting for a compromise that could negate joining the discharge, though moderate Republicans are confident that they will have enough signees if push comes to shove.

On the ground there, Democrats are pounding the GOP for its inaction on DACA and other immigration-related issues.

The outline reviewed Friday contains two options for the Dreamers.




It would create a new visa category that combines permits for the "Dreamer" immigrants with those for immigrants who now use other programs, including the diversity lottery and family visas.

During the meeting, Dana Rohrabacher of California said he suggested paying for the wall by selling 50,000 visas for $1 million each per year.

One key obstacle is whether members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus will be able to support a plan that would give DACA recipients a green card and eventually a path to citizenship.

"The best we can do is basically make sure that we exhaust the possibilities of coming together as a House Republican conference to bring a bill to a floor that everyone can support", said House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Party leaders and conservatives oppose the moderates' drive. Painfully aware of those divisions, leaders had seemed happy to sidestep the issue until the moderates' rebellion forced their hand. He and Curbelo need two more GOP signatures on a petition that could force those votes, assuming all Democrats sign. The question now is whether they can get a deal by Tuesday that can pass with mostly GOP support - and whether or not any deal the House can pass can also get approval in the Senate and by the White House. Though Curbelo said Thursday that deadline could slip to July if progress is being made.

If Senate Democrats are willing to speed up the process of confirming President Trump's nominees for federal offices, all members of the chamber can have more time off in August, Sen. They say it would likely result in liberal-leaning legislation that would never clear the Senate or get Trump's signature, and would antagonize conservative voters, jeopardizing GOP turnout in November elections in which control of the House is at stake.

But he said the starting point is the immigration principles laid out by Trump early this year: aggressive immigration security, including the construction of a wall along the Southwest border with Mexico, and a clamp-down on allowing family members overseas from joining relatives living legally in the United States. He's also wanted to end a lottery that distributes about 50,000 visas annually to countries with few US immigrants and to limit the relatives legal immigrants can bring to this country.

Republicans are more enthusiastic than Democrats and independents about voting this November, but all Americans are more eager to vote than they were in the last mid-term elections.

Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., said a large group of conservatives he leads has discussed providing a pathway to citizenship to Dreamers in exchange for giving President Donald Trump almost all the $25 billion he wants to build his proposed wall with Mexico.

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