Immigration Not on Agenda at GOP Party Retreat

03 February, 2018, 09:20 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • U.S. President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress

The three-day retreat for congressional Republicans, held at a West Virginia resort, is aimed at rallying around legislative priorities before the November elections that will be seen as a referendum on the party's ability to govern and on Trump's presidency.

According to prepared remarks distributed by the White House, Trump was set to request that "the framework we submitted be the bill that the Senate votes on".

"I think we know we're going to be in for a pretty nasty and tough year", Dent said.

"We heard more insulting words of ignorance and prejudice - prejudice toward patriotic immigrant families".

Trump said almost seven in 10 Americans support a bill with those principles, and he argued that the American people were "pleading" for "extra strength" at the border.

Some Republicans have indicated they want a full-year of defense spending attached to a short-term bill, and conservatives in the House have suggested they won't support another short-term bill unless the House votes on the hardline immigration bill they support.

The flood of low-skilled immigrants into the United States has suppressed wages, harmed American workers and strained federal resources, the White House said, a day after President Donald Trump called for a merit-based immigration system that could benefit Indian professionals.

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He's also expected to speak about immigration and people who were brought to the US illegally as children, known as "Dreamers". But there is no separate session on immigration policy even as divides between conservatives and moderates, the House and the Senate, and various other factions have kept Republicans from cementing a deal.

The president challenged Democrats for not taking the issue seriously, repeating the four pillars of his immigration plan that, in addition to granting a pathway to citizenship to 1.8 million illegal immigrants, include funding for border security, the end to the visa lottery program, and ending chain migration.

"A merit-based system would properly match the needs of the modern United States economy and protect vulnerable blue- collar American workers", the White House said.

"We need to end chain migration and we need to cancel the bad visa lottery". Would a path to citizenship be included? The White House framework represented "a good faith offer" from Trump, he said, and could provide a base bill for debate but he said it would ultimately not fly with Democrats.

"I believe most members are very sober and realistic about what kind of environment we're moving into in 2018".

Sanford noted that more than 30 House Republicans have now made a decision to retire, run for other office or outright resign amid controversy - hardly a resounding vote of confidence in the Trump administration. But while some of his terms are unpalatable to Democrats, his proposal is also too liberal for some Republicans. He emerged from a meeting earlier this week with top House and Senate lawmakers and Trump administration officials with no progress to report in the talks.

Trump in his first State of the Union address Wednesday pushed for an immigration policy that attracts the best and the brightest to the US.

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