Republicans Postpone Key US Immigration Vote Till Next Week

Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress, have failed to unify around a measure that would end the controversial family separations.

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Republicans Postpone Key US Immigration Vote Till Next Week

In a surprising move, Donald Trump signed an order putting an end to border separations. (File)


Washington: 

Republicans postponed a key Thursday vote on US immigration reform until next week in Congress, as the party's divided factions failed to agree on legislation that addresses the family separation crisis.

First a hardline proposal was defeated, as expected, by 193 votes to 231.

Then voting on a so-called compromise bill between the party's hard-right and moderate wings was pushed back to Friday, before it was postponed again until next week, multiple Republican aides said.

The legislative drama marked a major embarrassment for President Donald Trump's party in Congress.

It came a day after Trump -- in a stunning about-face -- moved to end the practice of splitting migrant families after they cross into the US from Mexico.

But Republicans -- who control both chambers of Congress -- have failed to unify around a measure that would end the controversial family separations while addressing key priorities supported by Trump, such as limits to legal immigration and funding for his proposed wall on the US-Mexico border.

GOP lawmakers emerged from a lengthy closed-door meeting in the US Capitol late Thursday saying more work was needed.

"Right now we're going to keep working with our members," number three Republican Steve Scalise said, according to CBS News.

House Speaker Paul Ryan hinted at the impasse earlier in the day, when he acknowledged the prospect of both bills failing.

"We will cross that bridge if we get to it," he said.

"If a bill isn't passed today, we're going to come back around to the president's four pillars."

For months Trump has called for a bill that would tighten border security, end a diversity visa lottery program, curtail so-called "chain migration," and provide certain protections for young immigrants known as "Dreamers," who were brought to the United States illegally as children.

But Republican leaders were considering adding two new provisions into the current legislation. One, aimed at attracting conservative lawmakers, would require companies to use an online E-verify" system to assure US citizenship of their workers.

Another would help companies in agricultural regions retain migrant workers.

The House's top Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, assailed the bill as "a compromise with the devil" and not with Democrats.

She argued it perpetuates child detention, undermines existing protections and restricts immigration for millions who have been waiting to legally enter the country.



(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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