The House was expected to vote today on two immigration bills: Rep. Goodlatte’s proposal and the House leadership’s alleged compromise bill supported by President Trump.
Goodlatte’s bill grants amnesty (but not path to citizenship) to the DACA population in exchange for significantly tightening up immigration enforcement and prompt, deep cuts to chain migration categories. Jessica Vaughn of the Center of Immigration Studies estimates that this bill would result in a net decrease in green cards of 1.23 million over the next 15 years.
As expected, the House rejected this sensible legislation. The vote was 193-231. Forty-one Republicans voted against it.
The leadership’s legislation offers amnesty and a path to citizenship to a much larger group — an estimated 2.2 million direct beneficiaries. It also preserves the largest chain migration categories, but does eliminate certain other categories. And it funds Trump’s wall. Vaughn estimates that it would result in a net increase of 2.12 million more green cards through amnesty and chain migration over the next 15 years.
Unexpectedly, the House did not vote on the leadership’s bill today. Why? Because Ryan did not have the votes. Reportedly, the vote has been moved back until tomorrow (Friday) while Ryan, assisted by Trump, tries to round up more support.
Rep. Lou Barletta, a Pennsylvania Republican, expressed his objections concisely: “It’s amnesty, chain migration, and there’s no guarantee the wall will be built.” Barletta added that there was nothing leadership could do that would cause him to vote in favor of its “compromise.”
Apart from the demerits of the Ryan “compromise,” there is also the likelihood, acknowledged by Trump in a tweet, that the Senate won’t pass this legislation. House Republicans must be wondering why they should stick their necks out to back broad amnesty legislation, which their base doesn’t want, if it’s not likely to clear the Senate.
Will leadership be able to get the votes it needs to pass Ryan’s baby tomorrow? I don’t know. But the Speaker didn’t sound optimistic at a press conference when he said:
I think we’re advancing the cause even if something doesn’t pass. I think these are the seeds that are going to be planted for an ultimate solution.
The Washington Post’s story on the postponement, written by Mike DeBonis and John Wagner, focuses on the inability of conservative and moderate Republicans to unite on the matter of amnesty for the offspring of adults who entered the country illegally with their kids. It downplays the absence of any Democratic support for legislation that would grant amnesty and a path to citizenship for more than 2 million illegal immigrants.
Let’s give the Democrats credit though. Unlike Republicans, they are united — united behind mass amnesty/path to citizenship, weak enforcement of our immigration laws, and limitless chain migration.
UPDATE: Now, apparently, the vote won’t occur on Friday, either. I’m hearing that it will take place next week, after the legislation is tweaked in an effort to gain additional support.