Our flawed immigration system is one of the most pressing problems facing our nation today. The flood of illegals continuing to pour across our borders poses threats to our national security and brings an epidemic of crime, drugs, disease and countless other problems while border agencies are limited in their response.
Then-candidate Trump promised to build a wall to thwart illegal immigration and demanded legislative action to stem the flood of illegals. House Speaker Paul Ryan and fellow leftwing Republicans, along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have done nothing.
The conservative House Freedom Caucus (HFC) supports H.R. 4760, The Securing America’s Future Act (aka the Goodlatte bill) proposed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). The Goodlatte bill provides temporary, renewable legal status to about 700,000 illegal alien youths who signed up under President Obama’s Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order. But Goodlatte also provides a laundry list of border security measures, including funding for the Wall, an end to chain migration and the diversity visa, and other measures. The bill has enough good features that it even earned the endorsement of the stridently anti-amnesty NumbersUSA.
Recently, Reps. Will Hurd (R-Texas), Jeff Denham, (R-Calif.), and Carlos Curbelo, (R-Fla.) proposed using what is called a discharge petition to force a vote on a much broader set of immigration proposals. A discharge petition allows a bill to be released from committee for a floor vote over the objections of committee chairs and House leadership. It requires an absolute majority of House members — 218 votes — to succeed.
Speaker Ryan promised the HFC to whip the Goodlatte bill and provide an up-or-down floor vote on that bill alone by offering a resolution that would have ended the discharge petition crisis. In return for this pledge, HFC members promised to support the very contentious corporate-welfare-loaded Farm bill, which National Review columnist Michael Tanner called “a dog’s breakfast.” However, at the last minute, Ryan pulled a bait-and-switch, telling the HFC that the “Goodlatte” bill to be offered would contain unspecified modifications. The HFC balked, and the Farm bill went down in flames.
Open borders Republicans have teamed with the Democrats and are now merely four votes short of the discharge petition’s necessary 218, and Republican backers say they can get the rest of the votes. If they succeed, four separate immigration bills will come to the floor — Goodlatte, two other GOP proposals, and one from Democrats. The one getting the most votes — the so-called “queen of the hill” — will win. In competition with other bills, Goodlatte will fail, because there are too many Republicans carrying water for the Chamber of Commerce, which wants total amnesty. The Democrat proposal, or something close, will succeed, because it will be the only one they vote for — in essence giving Democrats a major win on amnesty in the run-up to November.
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