WASHINGTON — Speaker Paul D. Ryan told a closed-door meeting of House Republicans on Wednesday that his plan to bring two immigration bills up for a vote next week had the approval of President Trump, who is “very excited” about the effort, according to a person who attended the meeting.
Whether either bill can pass is very much in doubt.
Wednesday’s gathering came less than 12 hours after Mr. Ryan’s office announced that the House would consider immigration next week — but not bipartisan bills aimed primarily at protecting young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. Instead, lawmakers will consider a hard-line measure that emphasizes border security and a somewhat more moderate compromise measure, yet to be finalized, that still meets Mr. Trump’s standards.
But the approval of an immigration hard-liner like Mr. Trump only underscored the growing sense that a rebellion by moderate Republicans seeking bipartisanship had utterly failed. It underscored the looming reality that the president has effectively acquired the last say over the actions of the Republican Congress.
Lawmakers attending the meeting said the compromise bill will be built around four principles — Mr. Trump has called them the “four pillars” — that the president has insisted any immigration bill contain: a path to citizenship for the young undocumented children known as Dreamers; beefed-up border security, including $25 billion for the wall the president wants to build; an end to the current diversity visa lottery system, which is aimed at bringing in immigrants from underrepresented nations; and limits on family-based migration, known as chain migration.
Mr. Ryan told reporters that the “last thing I want to do is bring a bill out of here that I know the president won’t support.”
Democrats slammed the plan as a betrayal of bipartisan efforts to address the fate of young immigrants, known as Dreamers.
“Let’s be clear: these Republican proposals aren’t to provide relief for Dreamers, they’re an avenue for mass deportations and to stoke fear in communities, said Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
The hard-line bill, known as the Goodlatte bill after its chief author, Representative Robert W. Goodlatte of Virginia, is highly unlikely to garner enough votes to pass the House.
But the compromise bill also faces a highly questionable path. Democrats are all but certain to resist a bill built to the White House’s liking, and conservatives, having secured a vote on the Goodlatte bill, may have little incentive to vote