Trump, GOP debate immigration fix

Stop breaking up families at the border

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"What is the objective of the House doing good immigration bills" when Senate Democrats are unlikely to pass the Republican bills, he wrote. Those defections - almost 1 in 5 GOP lawmakers - underscored the party's chasm over immigration and the election-year pressures Republicans face to stay true to districts that range from staunchly conservative to pro-immigrant.

Trump last week upended Republican efforts to negotiate the compromise bill, saying he would not support it. Hours after throwing the House GOP caucus into turmoil, the White House issued a statement saying, in effect, that the president had been confused. They were trying to persuade colleagues to seize the moment and tackle immigration problems by approving the bill, which includes $25 billion for Trump's border wall and a path to citizenship for young immigrants who have lived in the US illegally since childhood.

The Trump administration says the family separations are required under the law and can only be ended by Congress. Democrats say Trump is refusing to take responsibility for his own policy.

In a speech to a business group earlier Tuesday, Trump said he wanted to see legislation deal with family separation, which, he said, "We don't want".

"The time is now for the White House to end the cruel, tragic separations of families", Sen. Republican leaders are expected to host a briefing later to answer questions from members still unsure about the legislation. Instead, the children could be detained with their parents for extended periods.

"What we are seeing is a pattern of using children as political pawns", she said, referring to Republican manoeuvring on health care before approving funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program and the GOP's failure to secure any kind of fix for the young "Dreamer" immigrants in the USA illegally. "I was not put in a freezing cell".

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The U.S. Capitol building. Said Trump: "Politically correct or not, we have a country that needs security, that needs safety, that has to be protected".

The Texas border town of McAllen is home to the U.S. Border Patrol's McAllen Station, the busiest point of entry for apprehending and detaining immigrants suspected of entering the country illegally, and protests have erupted around the area.

The second was a compromise between GOP moderates and the party's conservatives that included an opportunity for citizenship for the young immigrants.

GOP leaders trying to persuade colleagues to seize the moment and tackle immigration problems by approving the bill, which includes $25 billion for Trump's border wall and a path to citizenship for young immigrants who have lived in the US illegally since childhood. Both were drafted with no input from Democrats. "This becomes a backup proposal", Meadows told reporters at the White House. "It may be a compromise with the devil, but it is not a compromise with the Democrats".

Even before votes began, Trump complicated GOP efforts to round up votes.

"What is the goal of the House doing good immigration bills when you need 9 votes by Democrats in the Senate, and the Dems are only looking to Obstruct (which they feel is good for them in the Mid-Terms)", Mr Trump tweeted.

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But then he tweeted on Thursday that whatever passed in the House was surely dead in the Senate because Republicans have just 51 votes, not almost enough to clear the 60-vote threshold to get past a Democratic filibuster. He said he's reaching out to Democrats for bipartisan backing, since the proposal would need to reach a 60-vote threshold for approval in the Senate.

Trump signed the executive order after days of protests from across the political spectrum, including Republican lawmakers who expressed concerns about their re-election prospects, according to current and former administration officials. His order seemed to stem some of the urgency for Congress to act. The "Mexico will pay for the wall!" crowd has gotten nothing, and for a president and a party increasingly obsessed with a single domestic policy issue - immigration - this would be a problem.

There are other significant differences between the House and Senate bills, but farm bill veterans say they will be easier to reconcile.

Passage of the GOP compromise was always a long shot, but failure may now come at a steeper price.

Hundreds of protesters chanting "I believe we will win" gathered at LaGuardia Airport in NY overnight awaiting flights believed to be carrying immigrant children separated from their families at the Mexican border. It did so by eliminating the 20-day cap on holding minors and allowing indefinite detentions. If the new policy is rejected by the courts, which the administration acknowledges is a possibility, the debate could move back to square one.

"We're going to have strong, very strong borders, but we're going to keep the families together", said Trump, who added that he didn't like the "sight" or "feeling" of children separated from their parents.

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The fight is erupting at a time when the House was already embroiled in an election-year struggle over immigration legislation that threatens to depress voter turnout in November. Led by Curbelo and Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., many are from states with large populations of young "Dreamer" immigrants who now face deportation threats under Trump's decision to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

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