House GOP Factions at Odds as Immigration Showdown Nears - NBC 10 Philadelphia
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

House GOP Factions at Odds as Immigration Showdown Nears

Some lawmakers want President Trump to use his negotiating power to help strike a deal on legislation that he would sign



    House GOP Factions at Odds as Immigration Showdown Nears
    J. Scott Applewhite/AP, File
    In this Thursday, May 24, 2018, file photo, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., takes questions from reporters about the meetings at the Justice Department planned for today where House and Senate lawmakers from both parties are set to meet with top intelligence officials for classified briefings about the federal investigation into President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

    What to Know

    • GOP Leaders have tried to block legislation that could provide citizenship for young immigrants who are here illegaly

    • President Donald Trump has been an outspoken opponent of illegal immigration

    • Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has been attempting to form an alternative solution that will bring Republicans together on the issue

    Leaders of opposing House GOP factions are convening with Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday as Republican leaders try to prevent passage of legislation that would protect young immigrants in the country illegally from deportation by providing them with a path toward citizenship.

    The speaker fears the bill being pushed by GOP centrists for the immigrants known as "Dreamers" would be so popular with Democrats that it would be easily approved in the House, an election-year embarrassment for Republicans who mostly view the approach as amnesty.

    Instead, Ryan is taking on the daunting task of trying to craft an alternative that could win the support of conservatives. It's a tough sell ahead of a looming deadline for possible votes. Still, Ryan was upbeat Wednesday that the legislation being developed behind closed doors could hit a sweet spot to please opposing groups within the Republican majority.

    "I feel good about the kind of conversations we're having," Ryan said.

    Shutdown, Russia Woes Grow for Trump

    [NATL] Shutdown, Russia Woes Grow for Trump

    President Trump lashed out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi amid the ongoing government shutdown and more troubling revelations about the 2016 election. NBC's Tracie Potts reports.

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019)

    The policy and politics of the immigration standoff are complex, even more so in an election year when House control is at stake and the conservative and centrist factions in the House majority have different priorities as lawmakers campaign back home.

    President Donald Trump is staying out of the fray for now, leaving House Republicans on their own to try to resolve their differences.

    "The speaker desperately wants to get something we can coalesce around," said Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., a Trump ally.

    Centrist Republicans have pushed the issue forward by relying on an unusual process to collect signatures from lawmakers on a so-called discharge petition. The group is a couple of signatures shy of forcing a vote on its preferred bill over leadership's objections.

    The centrists, whose elections in the fall could determine majority control of the House, are anxious to show voters back home that they have tried to resolve the uncertainty facing the young immigrants. They largely represent districts in California, Florida, New York and other states with larger immigrant populations than those of their conservative colleagues. Some face stiff challenges from Democratic candidates.

    Trump announced he would end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allowed nearly 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.

    More Migrant Families Separated Than Initially Reported

    [NATL] More Migrant Families Separated Than Initially Reported

    Thousands more migrant families may have been separated than the government initially reported, a watchdog group said, possibly due to ongoing problems keeping track of children.

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019)

    Conservative Republicans, who hold influence as the biggest block in the House GOP majority, are opposed to any special path to legal status for the young people unless it comes with other measures they favor. They want to beef up border security, clamp down on workplace employment verification and impose fresh limits on legal immigration by family members.

    Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said Wednesday that talks are in the "final stages," but he doesn't think there is a deal yet.

    Some lawmakers want Trump to use his negotiating power to help strike a deal on legislation that he would sign.

    "We don't want to waste our time," said Rep. John Faso, R-N.Y., who joined in the petition effort. "At the end of the day, he has to get involved."

    Others, though, said it's better for Republicans to work it out themselves, for now.

    "Goodness gracious, he's played a big role," said Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., leader of the conservative Republican Study Committee. "This is what he campaigned on."

    ICE Detains Marine Veteran

    [NATL] ICE Detains Marine Veteran, Says No Investigation

    Family members are furious that a U.S. citizen and military veteran ended up in an immigration detention center facing the threat of deportation. Jilmar Ramos-Gomez was born and raised in Grand Rapids. His mother says he served a tour in Afghanistan while in the U.S. Marine Corps.

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019)