Republicans Gave Immigration Bill a Second Chance

House Republicans appeared to move toward the weaker of the two immigration bills after the meeting on Tuesday evening with President Donald Trump.

Republican Representative Bob Goodlatte, who is the sponsor of the stronger, more conservative bill, announced after the meeting that he might support the “consensus” legislation pushed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, The Washington Post reported.

“This bill brings our immigration system into the 21st century, contains a number of tools to enhance border security, prevents illegal immigration, and combats fraud in our immigration system,” Goodlatte said of the Ryan-backed measure in a press release Tuesday night.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m., the President spoke with the GOP lawmakers for about an hour amid intense media coverage of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” enforcement at the southern border, which sometimes includes separating children from parents.

“The President wasn’t very clear about what he supports,” one House Republican aide said. “There has just been a lot of confusion.”

In a tweet after the meeting, Goodlatte said he had formally introduced the Ryan-backed bill.

Trump previously had indicated that he could sign either bill.  

“I think the big takeaway is that it was a far cry short from what members were expecting,” the House aide said. “At least as of yesterday he was at a yes-yes strategy, ‘I want both to pass’.”

Trump departed from the subject of immigration reform to talk about other matters, including North Korea.

“Most of the [meeting] was him talking about trade and tax reform,” the aide said, “and he wasn’t really talking about immigration. I was told he only did a few minutes on that.”

In a phone interview with The Post, Republican Representative Dave Brat blamed Democrats for obstructing immigration reforms and said he continues to support the stronger of the two Republican bills.


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