Donald Trump tweet complicates US House Republican efforts on immigration

Geneva Stokes
June 23, 2018

The father told the AP in a phone interview that he spoke to his son once by phone since they were separated 26 days earlier.

Federal immigration courts faced a backlog of more than 700,000 cases in May, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, or TRAC, at Syracuse University.

Following intense domestic and global condemnation, Trump on Wednesday signed an order ending his administration's practice of separation of children from their families while parents were being prosecuted for crossing the border illegally. "And it's like, I think he's with us, but he's got to really come out for us". The description supplied with the photo says the girl cried while the mother was "searched and detained" and that they were sent to a processing centre for "possible separation". And he also has no interest in undermining President Trump's claim that the White House would love to help Dreamers but those rascally Democrats are standing in the way. "We can not allow our Country to be overrun by illegal immigrants as the Democrats tell their phony stories of sadness and grief, hoping it will help them in the elections", he tweeted.

Both bills have received backing from Trump but are opposed by Democrats and immigration advocacy groups.

Trump reasoned that more Republicans would be elected to Congress in November, making it easier to pass the bill.

The situation underscored continued congressional dysfunction, particularly in overhauling the nation's immigration system, and the struggle to unite the conservative and more moderate wings of the Republican Party on the issue.

The House was expected to vote today on two immigration bills: Rep. Goodlatte's proposal and the House leadership's alleged compromise bill supported by President Trump.

All 435 seats in the House and a third of the 100-member Senate will be contested in the November election.

Despite Republican control of both the House and the Senate, the party's slim 51-49 majority in the latter chamber makes some Democratic support necessary for most legislation to become law.

The immigration bill tabled on Thursday was rejected by the U.S. House of Representatives favoured by conservatives which would have put a stop on the practice of separating families and addressed other immigration issues. Hours later Republican leaders postponed final voting on what was billed as a compromise immigration package until next week as negotiators made a last-ditch push for support.

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While Trump stresses the importance of securing the border, efforts in Congress to pass a sweeping immigration bill are faltering.

"Game over", said Representative Mark Sanford, a Republican critic of Trump who came under fire from the president before losing his primary race this month.

"Without the president having legislators' backs, there's no way they're going to take the risks that would be inherent in a major reform bill", Sanford told CNN.

Last year, after meeting with Trump, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said they had reached a deal to protect dreamers in exchange for funding Trump's border wall.

While Trump signed an executive order Wednesday ceasing the separations, his administration will instead detain families together indefinitely - a policy that also drew swift criticism and conflicts with a 2015 court order.

Immigrants like Ever Castillo and Diva Funes were among those affected by the mixed signals from the U.S.

Trump called family members to the presidential lectern to recount how their loved ones had been killed by those who were in the United States illegally.

On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security said it had reunited 500 migrant children with their parents after being separated at the border since May. The family, who was seeking asylum, said they were told by officials they would be separated so they voluntarily returned to Mexico.

The bill would also allow children to stay with their parents who are detained for crossing the border illegally.

He indicated his "zero tolerance" policy of prosecuting all illegal immigrants would continue, but families could remain together.

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