Trump's immigration order replaces one crisis with another

LISTEN Border agent mocks migrant children crying for parents at detention center

Immigrant kids many of them taken away from their families sit in a cage at a facility in McAllen Texas

Conservatives withheld support for the House farm bill last month, insisting on first holding a floor vote on conservative immigration legislation they've been seeking. An Ivanka Trump-branded store was scheduled to open in the lobby of Trump Tower in NY on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, selling handbags, jewelry and candles.

Another, Rep Lou Barletta, who is running for Senate in Pennsylvania, told Trump at the meeting he would have to remain a no vote for a bill that many conservatives consider to offer amnesty.

The fight - initially centered on helping young "Dreamer" immigrants stay in the country - has been swamped by heart-rending images of children in wire enclosures after being separated from their families at the border.

"After adding $2 trillion to the debt with the GOP tax scam for the rich, Republicans want to fill the hole by stealing food assistance from hungry families trying to make ends meet". One bill appeals more to conservatives - authored by Rep.

Senate Republicans, fearing Trump's action will not withstand a legal challenge and eager to go on record opposing the administration's policy, have unveiled their own legislation to keep detained immigrant families together. "It is now split between traditional, rural conservatives - the kind who hold their noses and vote for the farm bill because they want those commodity programs - and the ideologues in the Freedom Caucus who think all spending is bad".

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the changes will "close the skills gap, better equip our workforce, and encourage people to move from welfare to work, so more Americans have the opportunity to tap into the economic prosperity we're seeing right now".

"The idea that the way to end family separation is to indefinitely jail kids with their parents in family gulags at the border is as morally reprehensible as separating kids from their parents", said Frank Sharry, executive director of America's Voice, an immigration advocacy group".

House delays vote on compromise bill until Friday.

Denham also contends that Meadows agreed to be a co-author of the compromise bill, but Meadows said that "never was" part of any agreement. Rosen accused Republicans of playing "partisan games" instead of working with Democrats to find a bipartisan solution.

And it was uncertain if the President's support would be enough to push any legislation through the divided Republican majority.

Amodei was critical of GOP leadership and said the procedure being used "represents a new low" for the legislative system.

In addition to the policy divides, several GOP lawmakers felt that they didn't know what was in the "consensus" bill as it was still being tweaked hours before they were scheduled to vote on it.

Both Cabinet members made trips to Capitol Hill in recent days, as did President Trump, who told Republicans he backed both immigration bills. About 14,000 immigrants in Nevada were protected from deportation by DACA.

Still, Ryan's team has picked up a few votes, including support from Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler.

Trump had tweeted early Wednesday, before issuing his order: "It's the Democrats fault, they won't give us the votes needed to pass good immigration legislation".

Both House bills, backed by Trump but opposed by Democrats and immigration advocacy groups, would fund the wall Trump has proposed along the US border with Mexico and reduce legal migration, in part by denying visas for some relatives of USA residents and citizens living overseas.

"What is the objective of the House doing good immigration bills", he fumed, "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)". President Donald Trump seemed to undermine the effort with a tweet suggesting any measure the House approved would be doomed in the Senate anyway.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the Trump administration has been sending babies and other young children separated from their parents at the border to at least three "tender age" shelters in South Texas, and that the government plans to open another shelter to house hundreds of young migrants in Houston.

After a week of aides saying only Congress, and not the president, had the authority to stop the separations, Trump came out Wednesday and signed an executive order to continue prosecutions but not separate children from their parents. However, it seeks to allow families to be detained together throughout the duration of their court proceedings. Democrats argue that they would, if passed, allow the government to detain families together indefinitely.

But most of the frustrations were reserved for Trump - who, in the eyes of many Republicans, created a problem, demanded Congress solve it, then actively undermined his party's efforts to do so.

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