Immigration bill is opening salvo in coming fight over the southern border wall and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Both issues may be resolved before a mid-December government shutdown deadline.
House Republicans have unveiled a plan to provide $10 billion for President Trump’s border wall with Mexico, a bill unlikely to clear the Senate but which Politico reports could fuel a shutdown fight in December. Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul (R-TX) said his panel will vote next week. The bill would add 10,000 more border patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection officers, tap the National Guard to patrol the southern border and target people who have overstayed visas. The bill is Republicans’ opening salvo in the year-end government funding fight and high-stakes negotiations over undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
It isn’t likely to pass the Senate, where at least eight Democrats would be needed to clear a 60-vote threshold. The measure foreshadows Republican negotiating positions in the fight over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which Trump announced he would end absent action from Congress. Trump has said the wall need not be part of any bipartisan deal to codify the program, but House Republicans want the wall on the table. The bill shows that Republicans are intent on fighting for the wall ahead of debate to keep the government from running out of money in the second week of December. Trump and some conservatives feel they could win a public relations battle if the government were shut down in a fight over the wall. GOP leaders disagree and believe Republicans would face an intense backlash.