UPDATE: Goodlatte bill failed in the House, the compromsie bill won't be voted on until tomorrow.
Well, if there’s a sign that the immigration push in the House could blow up, it’s the signal the moderate GOP is sending right now. They’re willing to work with Democrats to protect the so-called DREAMers. Prior to these votes, which were not needed right now and created division within the GOP during a critical election year, 192 House Democrats signed a discharge petition. Twenty-three House GOP members, moderates, joined the effort as well. They were three shy of successfully pulling this off. If 218 signatories are found, they could have held immigration votes without going through the House GOP leadership. So, this deal of voting on a compromise bill, crafted by House GOP leadership, and a more conservative bill, spearheaded by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
Both bills offer protections for DACA recipients, folks brought illegally into the U.S. as kids. Yet, the compromise bill offers a pathway to citizenship after a six-year protection status. Goodlatte’s bill has no avenue to green cards or citizenship, just temporary protective status that is renewed every three years.
The reason this issue is of high importance is due to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which has shielded those brought into this country illegally as children from deportation under Obama. The program is constitutionally questionable and thousands of illegals that were arrested for violent crimes, including murder, were granted protections. Facing a lawsuit from a group of GOP state attorneys general and the White House seemingly set in not wanting to defend the law due to its shaky legal standing, they opted for a winding down of DACA with a six-month enforcement delay to ensure Congress can pass a fix. There was a problem: the Democratic Party. The Left is in no mood to work with Trump. The Democrats shut down the government over illegal aliens last winter. It’s a mess, and if moderate Republicans work with Democrats once these immigration bills blow up—they’re not expected to pass—then they’ll be sowing the seeds of their own demise. There is no way they would get credit for this. It’s such a fool’s errand. It would only get the Left more energized and ready to vote out any Republican, even those who helped pass a shoddy immigration compromise (via McClatchy):
If House votes on immigration fail Thursday — which lawmakers said is a real possibility — vulnerable Republicans are ready to defy their party establishment and work with Democrats to revive the effort.
Votes on two Republican-authored immigration bills are expected late Thursday. One is a compromise pushed by GOP leaders. The other is championed by staunch conservatives. Supporters of both bills were struggling Wednesday to round up enough support.
Republicans facing difficult re-election fights need to show constituents they're sensitive to the plight of Dreamers as well as families who have crossed the border seeking asylum, which is included in the compromise bill. So if that bill is defeated, they're open to joining Democrats to force new votes on immigration.
Reps. Jeff Denham, R-California, and Carlos Curbelo, R-Florida, who have led the Republicans' immigration reform effort, told McClatchy all options were open if the compromise bill failed, including forcing a vote without leadership approval. The compromise includes a path to citizenship for Dreamers, those who came to the country illegally as children.
Such a move, which would have to involve as few as 25 House Republicans and all 193 Democrats to be effective, would be a clear rebuke of House GOP leaders as well as President Donald Trump.
It’s a trap, moderates. You’ll still be pelted with images of crying kids. The only way to win this contest on Election Day is turnout and that means energizing your conservative base, and they certainly won’t be happy about the compromise bill or moderate Republicans working with liberal Democrats to pass a terrible immigration compromise bill. Don’t do it.
Editor's Note: Headline and text changed to more accurately reflect DACA protections. Sorry about that, folks.