House rejects hard-right immigration bill, baring GOP divide

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan R-Wis. meets with reporters before a House showdown on immigration at the Capitol in Washington Thursday

Hanging in the balance is legal protection for young immigrants covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA; money for President Donald Trump's border wall; steep cuts to legal immigration; and a long-term strategy for addressing family separations at the border.

On Friday, President Donald Trump said that a "red wave" is needed for a robust immigration bill to successfully pass in Congress, adding that Democrats "won't give votes for political reasons". Dems are just playing games.

"What is the objective 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)", Trump tweeted.

Avenatti, who has made headlines representing porn star Stormy Daniels in an unrelated lawsuit against Trump, said Merida-Galicia is among more than 60 immigrant parents he represents and 80 percent of them do not know where their children are.

Trump, as he indicated in his tweet, believes a divisive debate over immigration will benefit his party in November's midterm elections, and he has continued to claim that Democrats are to blame for the immigration impasse.

Lawmakers leaving the Thursday evening meeting, where bill writers went through it section by section to answer questions, said it was still unclear whether it had gained enough Republican support to pass.

The bill received 231-193 votes with 41 Republicans joining the opposition. "The separation here is from the facts". "It may be a compromise with the devil, but it's not a compromise with the Democrats in terms of what they have in their bill". Reportedly, the vote has been moved back until tomorrow (Friday) while Ryan, assisted by Trump, tries to round up more support. Leadership promised conservatives a vote on the measure in exchange for consideration of the annual farm bill - which hard-line members of the House Freedom Caucus torpedoed last month over their demands for a vote on the Securing Americas Future Act. Democrats are hoping that discontent among voters with Trump's policies, including on immigration, will help the party make gains in Congress and flip control to Democrats in at least one chamber.

It came a day after Trump - in a stunning about-face - moved to end the practice of splitting migrant families after they cross into the USA from Mexico.

It was unclear how numerous roughly 500 children were still being detained with their families.

The House GOP immigration legislation was already teetering on the brink of collapse.

At the Mexican border there was also confusion over whether parents crossing with children would continue to be prosecuted.

Besides, said Rep. John Faso, R-N.Y., a supporter of the bill, maybe Trump will change his mind again: "Just wait a few hours, the tweet will be different".

The vote on the so-called compromise Republican plan had earlier been delayed to Friday to allow members additional time to review it.

"My constituents back home know all too well how desperately we need our border secured,"ÿshe said on the House floor".

Mr Trump said on Friday that even if a measure passes, it is doomed in the Senate.

Meanwhile, officials say up to 20,000 children will be housed at military bases from July. "You hear like they are better people than what we have, than our citizens, it is not true", he said. It features separated children crying and talking about their parents. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement launched the VOICE Office in April 2017, following an Executive Order by the President calling for its creation, he said.

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