President Donald Trump called on House Republicans to immediately pass a broad immigration bill Wednesday —less than a week after he said they’d be “wasting their time” to do so before November’s midterms.
HOUSE REPUBLICANS SHOULD PASS THE STRONG BUT FAIR IMMIGRATION BILL, KNOWN AS GOODLATTE II, IN THEIR AFTERNOON VOTE TODAY, EVEN THOUGH THE DEMS WON’T LET IT PASS IN THE SENATE. PASSAGE WILL SHOW THAT WE WANT STRONG BORDERS & SECURITY WHILE THE DEMS WANT OPEN BORDERS = CRIME. WIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2018
“HOUSE REPUBLICANS SHOULD PASS THE STRONG BUT FAIR IMMIGRATION BILL, KNOWN AS GOODLATTE II, IN THEIR AFTERNOON VOTE TODAY, EVEN THOUGH THE DEMS WON’T LET IT PASS IN THE SENATE,” Trump tweeted in his all-caps directive. “PASSAGE WILL SHOW THAT WE WANT STRONG BORDERS & SECURITY WHILE THE DEMS WANT OPEN BORDERS = CRIME.”
“WIN!” the president added, throwing his support behind a bill due for a vote in the House Wednesday.
Republicans have been scrambling to cobble together an immigration compromise between hardline and moderate factions of the party — something Trump, who has faced a groundswell of criticism over his administration’s zero tolerance policy at the border, was reportedly behind.
But the president seemed to throw a wrench into those efforts when he tweeted on June 22 that House Republicans should not even try to pass a bill before November because “Dems are just playing games” and “have no intention of doing anything to [solve] this decades-old problem.”
“We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!” Trump wrote.
The bill — which is not expected to pass — would provide a path to citizenship for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals beneficiaries, but it would also include hardline measures, such as funding for the long-promised border wall, that Trump has been pushing for.
Trump, who has sent mixed messages about his support for the proposed legislation, has faced renewed outrage in recent weeks over his policy of separating families at the border. He falsely blamed Democrats for the draconian policy, but last week signed an executive order to keep families together. His zero tolerance policy of detaining and criminally prosecuting all undocumented immigrants at the border remains in place, and the order does nothing to address families that have already been separated.
On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled the government must reunite parents with the children who had been taken from them, slamming the administration for creating a “chaotic circumstance” at the border without a clear plan in place.
The compromise bill, which Trump dubbed “Goodlatte II” after Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), is not expected to get any Democratic support and will likely fail to get through the House — something House Speaker Paul Ryan seemed to acknowledge in remarks to reporters Tuesday.
“If that doesn’t succeed, then we’ll cross that bridge,” Ryan said. “But the last thing I want to do is undercut a vote on what is a great consensus bill.”