House GOP Leaders Agree to Hold Debate and Vote on Two DACA Legislation

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DACA/Dreamers rally
Credits: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

House Republican leaders agreed to hold a debate and vote on two competing legislative solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

On Tuesday night, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office announced the deal to stop a rebellion within the GOP. Last month, moderate Republicans introduced a discharge petition to force a debate and vote on a series of DACA legislation.

In a statement, the House Speaker’s spokeswoman AshLee Strong said for several weeks, the members of the Republican Conference negotiated with each other directly and in good faith. “As a result, the House will consider two bills next week to avert the discharge petition and resolve the border security and immigration issues.”

Currently, there are at least five proposed DACA legislation including the Securing America’s Future Act. The House will debate on the bill together with another compromise measure, which Republican leaders are still putting together.

Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is the author of Securing America’s Future Act. President Donald Trump supports the bill because it will end chain migration and the Diversity Visa lottery program, strengthen border security, and increase green cards for skilled workers. It will provide temporary legal status (renewable) for undocumented young immigrants known as Dreamers.

Moderate Republicans remain committed to pursuing the discharge petition

Democrats and some Republicans oppose Goodlatte’s bill because of the drastic reduction to legal immigration and the protection for Dreamers is temporary.

Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo, one of the sponsors of the discharge petition said they are not abandoning their effort.

In a statement, Rep. Curbelo said, “While the legislation to be revealed in the coming days is based on the productive negotiations hosted by House Leaders over the last several weeks, it is vital our colleagues remain committed to the discharge petition.”

Additionally, he said,“While we believe all parties have negotiated in good faith, until and unless we confirm the proposed legislation fully addresses the interests and concerns that unite us we must and will keep up the pressure.”

On the other hand, Republican Rep. Jeff Denham, who is also pushing for the discharge petition said the Congress must solve DACA.

During an interview with Fox News, Rep Denham said there should be a solution and certainty for Dreamers. He noted the fact that Pres. Trump gave Congress a deadline on March 5 to pass a legislative solution on the matter.

He said, “We’ve done nothing on the issue. I think we got to have certainty for Dreamers. We got to have border security as well. He added that Republicans need to champion the fight to providing certainty for Dreamers and securing the border.