House GOP in tentative deal to help ‘Dreamers

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

Legislation to that end failed to pass the Senate earlier this year, so it's unclear how the House strategy would result in a bill that could become a law.

Highlighting the tenuous state of the talks, moderates said Thursday they had reached an accord with conservatives on a key sticking point, while conservative leaders denied any such deal was in place.

House Republicans have left a private meeting on immigration without an agreement between conservatives and moderates on the divisive issue.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan dismissed an attempt to override leadership on immigration Thursday as having no chance of becoming law.

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. He made the announcement in a closed-door lunch with Republican senators, according to several people familiar with his comments who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Proponents told us the change will bring more "moderate" voters into the mix and lead to a more "pragmatic, problem-solving" group of elected officials.

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., said that under an offer from the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, young immigrants brought illegally to the U.S.as children could get a new visa that would let them stay in the country for eight years. There's uncertainty over what would happen after the end of the eight-year visa program, but Denham said participants have characterized the proposal as a bridge to the legal immigration system - which suggests a pathway to remaining in the US permanently.

"The members who want to see action on this issue were getting exasperated because they didn't see an opportunity to get something to the floor", Ryan said. Another member of that group, Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., said a proposal has been discussed but cautioned that there are "tons of moving pieces to it".

Meadows, however, said if Labrador is making offers, they are not on behalf of the Freedom Caucus.

Standing against them are those who call any such plans "amnesty" and show little sign of caring that Democrats plan to weaponize this issue in this fall's elections.

"We don't want to waste our time", said Rep. John Faso, R-N.Y., who joined in the petition effort.

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Even if every lawmaker at the negotiating table were acting in good faith, a deal might still be doubtful just based on the policy differences ― at least before Tuesday, when moderates are expected to gather the final three signatures they need to reach 218 supporters of a discharge petition.

"We have a firm deadline of next Tuesday", Denham said. But he added, "We're still not in a situation where there's agreement".

The moderates' petition would force House votes on four immigration bills, ranging from a liberal one helping "Dreamers" win citizenship to a conservative version curbing legal immigration.

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.

Trump announced he would end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allowed almost 700,000 young immigrants to obtain permits to work and temporarily stay in the U.S. But the program largely continues temporarily, pending an unresolved legal battle.

There are an estimated 11 million to 12 million of these people.

I believe we will get those signatures tonight if the Republicans are unable to come up with an agreement, Sinema said Thursday on KTAR News 92.3 FM's Arizona's Morning News. He said leaders would work toward a draft that resembles Trump's demands on the issue.

The major hang-up in GOP talks has been how to offer citizenship to young immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children. If this immigration debate is just an exercise in messaging, with the Senate looking somewhat intractable, then moderates may be better off using the discharge petition to work with Democrats and demonstrate to their voters that they're willing to compromise on immigration.

In California, where voters vote for senate candidates regardless of political party, the Democrats have secured the top two positions on the roster, all but securing its claim on the senate seat.

"There's a discussion about reallocating visas" for DACA recipients, Curbelo said when asked about reports that a deal could include ending the diversity visa lottery and trimming family categories.

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