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Trump admin. unveils plan to reunify separated immigrant families

The administration unveils its plan to reunify families as President Trump's immigration reversal causes widespread confusion. DHS says 522 families have been reunited, but 2,053 children are still in government custody.

Posted: Jun 25, 2018 11:17 AM
Updated: Jun 25, 2018 11:17 AM

House Republicans will push ahead this week with a vote on their own compromise immigration bill that still faces long odds in the chamber despite last-minute delays and a rush to make changes.

Over the weekend, aides and members worked to see if they might be able to include a provision to expand E-verify, a program the US government uses to check the immigration status of workers, as well as a guest worker visa program. But, there was little evidence that the changes would be enough to get the bill passed.

House Republicans seemed to be losing momentum late last week after President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that he thought the House GOP conference should wait to address immigration until after the midterms and stop "wasting their time."

The reality for the House conference -- and Republican lawmakers in general -- is that the politics of immigration have not changed. Long an issue that has revealed partisan schisms within their ranks, Republicans are still at odds. Moderates back a path to citizenship for individuals who were brought to the US illegally as children. Conservatives have been wary of signing onto anything that can be construed by their base as "amnesty." And, that's just the beginning. Divisions over legal immigration numbers, guest worker programs and even E-verify have crippled the party from solving the problem countless times before.

RELATED: Trump's go-it-alone immigration strategy ends in chaos, confusion

"Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November. Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solves this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!" Trump tweeted.

Trump's inconsistent support was weighing on members. On Tuesday, Trump visited the House conference on Capitol Hill to tell them he backed them "100%." But despite an all-out lobbying blitz from the administration Wednesday to pass the bill, Trump's support was waning, and by the end of the week, playing into conservatives' worst fear that Trump wouldn't be able to shield them from critics of the bill.

"What I would like is for the President to have the same message," said Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican from Colorado who faces a tough re-election in a swing district. "The message that he had when he talked to us behind closed doors versus the message in terms of talking to the American people."

Rep. Greg Walden, a Republican from Oregon, told reporters the tweet was "a bit of a surprise."

"The best way to pass legislation is to consistently support a position," Walden added later.

Pressed if the President was doing that, Walden said "I'll leave it at that."

Over the weekend, Trump visited Nevada where he once again made his tough-on-borders message a centerpiece of his stump speech. But the President didn't push for lawmakers already in Congress to act in the House. Instead, Trump warned about the danger of softening his stance on immigration.

"If they see any weakness, they will come by the millions," Trump said at the rally.

Republicans were supposed to have already voted on their immigration proposal last week, but in a last-minute decision, leaders chose to hold off in hopes that a last-minute negotiation would inch them closer to passage.

Deputy Majority Whip Patrick McHenry, a North Carolina Republican and one of the top vote counters in the GOP, was blunt about the prospects for a different outcome, telling reporters that the politics of immigration was "the same as it ever was" Friday.

For leadership, the entire exercise of trying to solve immigration just five months ahead of the midterm elections was never their choice. The scrambling to find a compromise was the result of a push from House moderates. Members had threatened to force a vote on the House floor using a rarely deployed discharge petition, a procedure that would have forced a floor vote for a package of bills that included some that leadership didn't support. That triggered a rapid response to neutralize the discharge petition and negotiate on immigration -- an issue that hadn't been addressed comprehensively since the late 1980s.

But as part of the push to find a compromise and appease moderates, leaders also had to agree to put a conservative immigration bill -- commonly shorthanded around Capitol Hill as the Goodlatte bill for author Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, on the floor. On Thursday, that bill earned 193 votes, more than expected, but still short of the necessary votes to pass.

Asked why Republicans did not just stop wasting their time after Trump's tweet, McHenry responded "that's a very good question."

He then added "votes were pledged in order to turn off the discharge petition."

"There was a pledge that was made and the intention is to fulfill it," he said.

Over the weekend, the Trump administration issued guidance for how families might be reunited on the Southern border. There are still more than 2,000 children in the Department of Health and Human services' custody. In the Senate, a bipartisan group of lawmakers is seeking their own narrow legislative option to more permanently end family separations, but those negotiations are ongoing.

Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday that he would continue to deploy oversight to make sure that children and families were reunited, but Johnson noted that there were issues under the Obama administration with keeping track of children in the Department of Health and Human services custody as well. Asked if he was confident the Trump administration could unite the families that are still separated, Johnson said "they are saying they do."

"We will continue our oversight on that," Johnson said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1005797

Reported Deaths: 16449
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1353572119
Lake663011164
Allen57820801
Hamilton46296464
St. Joseph44311613
Elkhart35888509
Vanderburgh32214480
Tippecanoe27898258
Johnson25056445
Hendricks23854359
Porter22890365
Madison18724409
Clark18540252
Vigo17449303
Monroe15242199
LaPorte15124250
Delaware15043261
Howard14719289
Kosciusko12285147
Hancock11709175
Bartholomew11602180
Warrick11287189
Floyd11082215
Wayne10965253
Grant10051220
Morgan9457176
Boone8913116
Dubois8263131
Dearborn820893
Henry8200152
Noble8017106
Marshall7916135
Cass7528121
Lawrence7447171
Shelby7176119
Jackson697289
Gibson6584115
Harrison647591
Knox6418106
Huntington6385100
DeKalb630699
Montgomery6252110
Miami592298
Putnam580078
Clinton574971
Whitley564255
Steuben560676
Wabash5324104
Jasper529879
Jefferson510297
Ripley499886
Adams481576
Daviess4670114
Scott438574
Greene424496
Wells423088
Clay422060
White418164
Decatur4164102
Fayette406187
Jennings386661
Posey376644
LaGrange357678
Washington357651
Randolph344499
Spencer339543
Fountain334760
Sullivan328652
Starke316470
Owen314170
Fulton309467
Orange293564
Jay284145
Franklin265443
Perry265352
Rush261332
Carroll261133
Vermillion257754
Parke231126
Pike228843
Tipton227559
Blackford192642
Pulaski183457
Crawford159223
Newton157848
Benton150217
Brown146147
Martin138219
Switzerland134911
Warren121016
Union107016
Ohio84513
Unassigned0540

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1511760

Reported Deaths: 23616
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1636861666
Cuyahoga1457252442
Hamilton1050421416
Montgomery737101254
Summit614971105
Lucas56058912
Butler51383711
Stark464421056
Lorain35443584
Warren32687373
Mahoning30598675
Clermont28106326
Lake26907443
Delaware24114162
Licking23820287
Trumbull22742556
Fairfield22309246
Greene22212320
Medina21941311
Clark19757351
Richland18500285
Portage17857250
Wood17394221
Allen15905269
Miami15487299
Muskingum14737185
Columbiana13940269
Wayne13722265
Tuscarawas12643304
Marion11906175
Scioto11432161
Pickaway11346141
Erie10811181
Ross10532198
Lawrence9725153
Ashtabula9658200
Hancock9649150
Belmont9262206
Geauga8906157
Jefferson8531197
Huron8338141
Union816557
Washington8066138
Sandusky7790148
Athens773676
Knox7679141
Darke7618155
Seneca7306144
Ashland6917126
Auglaize678097
Shelby6493113
Brown633387
Crawford6245130
Defiance6162103
Mercer612893
Fulton599296
Highland596899
Madison592176
Guernsey583468
Logan582795
Clinton581191
Preble5692122
Putnam5301108
Williams526185
Perry516563
Champaign510372
Jackson506571
Ottawa484086
Coshocton478783
Morrow456656
Pike432763
Fayette427461
Hardin416678
Gallia416266
Adams415392
Van Wert369579
Henry362571
Holmes3619123
Hocking355579
Wyandot322261
Carroll300659
Paulding279147
Meigs263350
Monroe214854
Noble198946
Morgan193232
Harrison180143
Vinton165125
Unassigned05
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