WASHINGTON – A leader of the Republican Moderates said on Thursday that a preliminary deal with conservatives was being discussed to help young "dreamers" stay legally in the US. The Conservatives later said that no agreement had been reached and underlined how difficult it was for the GOP to resolve its longstanding schism on the issue.
The proposal was made on the same day as Parliament Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. The Heads of State and Government will make a compromise on the subject, which the Republicans could soon adopt and vote on. Ryan hopes that an agreement could deter the GOP centrists from forcing a series of voting votes this month which, according to leading politicians, would undermine the party's electoral chances in November.
The excitement underscored the growing Republican pressure on immigration, a problem encountered by centrists representing Hispanic and moderate voters against conservatives with deep-red members who sympathize with the anti-immigrant outbursts of President Donald Trump. The leaders were painfully aware of these divisions and seemed happy to bypass the problem until the moderate rebellion forced their hand.
Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., Said young immigrants were illegally brought to the US in an offer by the far-right House Freedom Caucus, as children could get a new visa that would allow them to stay in the country for eight years. He expressed uncertainty about what would happen afterwards, but said that the participants characterized the proposal as a bridge to the legal immigration system ̵
"This was their offer to us and it's something we can agree with, but not until we see it on paper," Denham said.
The members of the Freedom Caucus distanced themselves from the moderates' claims, though their descriptions varied
Rep. Mark Meadows, RN.C., chairman of Freedom Caucus, said that no immigration agreement was made and said that the issue of granting citizenship to dreamers "was the most sensitive issue from the beginning". Another member of this group, Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va, said that a proposal was being discussed, but warned that there were "tons of moving parts". And in a tweet, the caucus said he had "made no immigration offer," but continued.
The Conservatives were determined not to offer a "special" process that gave the dreamers a unique opportunity to gain legal status, and some of them thrived on Denham's narrower description. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., Denham's moderate leader, said that while the talks focused on giving the dreamers legal status, the proposal "does not include a specific route or visa unique to a particular group"  Denham said that without a deal, the threat of the moderates to force the house to take into account four immigration laws remains in effect. He and Curbelo need two more GOP signatures on a petition that could force these votes, assuming all Democrats sign. If they come by next Tuesday, the house is well on its way to receiving these appeal requests on June 25.
"We have a fixed deadline for next Tuesday," said Denham. "We are ready to have the final signatures if no agreement is reached between today and tomorrow."
The moderates would compel voices on bills ranging from liberal plans, through citizenship for dreamers, to a conservative proposal to curb legal immigration. GOP leaders and Conservatives say the most likely outcome would be left-wing legislation that would never clear the Senate or get the signature of President Donald Trump. They also say they anger Conservative voters and jeopardize GOP voter turnout in November, which leaves control of the house at stake.
Denham said moderate would accept border security measures as part of the agreement, including supporting the full $ 25 billion that Trump wants to build his proposed wall with Mexico. He also said that the plan would apply to more than the nearly 700,000 people who were protected by the delayed action of the Oba era for the arrival of children (DACA), which Trump has stopped. It is estimated that around one million immigrants qualified for this program, but some estimates do not.
Ryan described the leaders' efforts to find a compromise following a meeting of all House GOP members who had not resolved the dividing lines of the party. He said that the leaders would work towards a draft that resembles Trump's demands on the subject.
"This effort to bring our members to a common ground is the best chance," Ryan said of possible citizenship for Dreamers, Trump wants full funding for his wall with Mexico. He also wanted to end a lottery that distributes about 50,000 visas each year to countries with few immigrants in the US and confines relatives of legal immigrants in that country.
Democrats and many moderate Republicans have opposed the restrictions on legal immigration. Such a plan does not seem to have a chance in the Senate where the Democrats have enough votes to block them.
Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., said conservatives have discussed offering Dreamers a path to citizenship, in return for funding the proposed border wall, ending the Visa lottery and limiting the relatives who may bring immigrants into the country. Walker said the more Dreamers got a chance for citizenship, the closer family-based migration would be.
AP reporters Andrew Taylor, Kevin Freking, and Padmananda Rama performed
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.