House Republican leaders decided to move forward with a vote next week on measure to address the border crisis, including a measure strongly opposed by Democrats that would repeal a 2008 law that delays immigration hearings for children from Central America.
Rep. Kay Granger, the Texas Republican who headed a GOP task force that presented a set of proposals that laid the groundwork of the upcoming bill, said it will be introduced as soon as Monday.
The inclusion of the controversial change to the 2008 law, which is opposed by President Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress, gives the bill virtually no chance of being enacted. But House Republican leaders faced intense pressure to pass some sort of border measure before adjourning for summer recess at the end of next week.
Mrs. Granger said they had to try to change the 2008 law, which allows the children to remain in the United States for months or years until they face an immigration judge. The law has been blamed with providing a foothold and incentive for Central American families to send their children on the long, illegal journey to America.
“It’s a big problem if we don’t do it. You can’t turn those children around fast,” she said.
The bill also will include sending National Guard troops to the border, lifting restrictions on border patrol operations on federal lands and measures to work with Central American countries to expedite the return of the unaccompanied alien children that have inundated the U.S.
The package is a scaled down version of a 12-point plan presented this week by Mrs. Granger’s task force. The decision to move forward with a smaller set of measures was made after a House Republican conference meeting Friday.
The bill is expected to get a vote by the end of next week.