Last night, I discussed the two amnesty-style immigration reform proposals kicking around in the House. One of them, Rep. Goodlatte’s proposal, is in my view a reasonable compromise. It offers amnesty for the DACA population only, in exchange for strong measures to control future illegal immigration and significant limits on some forms of immigration that are currently legal.
The other proposal, backed by Speaker Ryan and known as “the compromise,” offers much broader amnesty with less enforcement and somewhat fewer limits on legal immigration. I regard this “compromise” as unsatisfactory and ill-advised.
According to reports, some in the White House were telling members that President Trump would support either measure. I also heard that Speaker Ryan was saying the same thing. These reports surprised me, but since the compromise apparently purports to fully fund the border wall, I thought they might be true.
Today, however, Trump said he would not sign the “compromise” proposal. He told Fox & Friends:
I certainly wouldn’t sign the more moderate [bill]. I need a bill that gives this country tremendous border security. I have to have that.
This position, assuming Trump adheres to it, means the Ryan compromise will not pass Congress. Very likely, it will die in the House. Moreover, Majority Leader McConnell has made it clear that the Senate will take up only immigration legislation the president is willing to sign.
Now, it looks like McConnell can use the Senate’s floor time to confirm judges and nominees for positions in the administration.
UPDATE: Now, the White House says Trump would sign Ryan’s compromise legislation. “The President fully supports both the Goodlatte bill and the House leadership bill,” a spokesman said.
He claimed that when Trump said he wouldn’t sign “the more moderate bill,” he was referring to a proposal by Democrats, not to the Ryan legislation. I believe the president was talking about the Ryan proposal — he said was “looking at both bills, not three of them — but had no clear idea of what was in Ryan’s. In other words, he didn’t know what he was talking about.