Just the Facts
Five Facts on the Immigration Compromise Bill
By No Labels
June 27, 2018 | Blog
Today, the House overwhelmingly rejected a compromise immigration bill by a vote of 121-301 that was the culmination of Republican leadership’s attempts to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The bill addressed a wide variety of controversial issues, such as the DACA program, the border wall, and the diversity visa lottery. However, the bill faced a difficult path to passage as House leadership attempted to please both moderate and conservative members of the Republican Party. No House Democrats supported the bill. This means that members of Congress will face voters in November without having passed immigration reform. Here are five facts for you to know.
The path to this compromise immigration bill began with a “discharge petition” filed in May by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), a member of the House Problem Solvers Caucus
The bill was an attempt on the part of GOP leadership to cobble together support from both moderate and conservative Republicans in hopes of addressing the fate of programs such as DACA and the border wall. While there were originally four competing immigration proposals, as of last week only two potential bills remained—the compromise bill and House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s (R-VA) conservative proposal. However, this past Thursday Goodlatte’s bill failed a vote on the House floor, leaving only Speaker Ryan’s proposal on the agenda.
The compromise bill would have taken action to end family separation
The bill would have overturned a 1997 settlement agreement that stipulates children cannot be detained for more than 20 days. While the bill still called for the prosecution of parents who were accompanied by their children when crossing the border, overturning the 1997 agreement would have allowed these children to remain in detention with their parents while the judicial proceedings unfolded.
Speaker Ryan’s bill would have provided a path to citizenship for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients
The bill stipulated that after six years of renewable legal status, eligible candidates would have had the opportunity to apply for a green card. However, applicants were not guaranteed to receive a green card, as they would be judged on a merit-based system. After five years of holding a green card, Dreamers would then have been able to apply for citizenship. An analysis by the Cato Institute found that the bill’s proposal would have provided a path to permanent legal status for only 630,000 Dreamers—or 18% of the current Dreamer population—and full citizenship to 421,268 Dreamers.
The compromise bill would have allocated $25 billion in federal funds for the southern border wall
At present, funds for the border wall, one of President Trump’s main issues during his campaign, have been allocated only gradually by Congress and with various restrictions. Ryan’s bill however, would have satisfied the president’s request for $25 billion in full. In addition, it stipulated that green cards for Dreamers would immediately stop if the funding was discontinued or withheld in the future.
The compromise bill would have significantly cut current levels of legal immigration—largely by ending the diversity lottery system
The bill would have eliminated the 55,000 green cards allocated annually through the diversity lottery, a program that seeks to diversify the immigrant population. In addition, it would also cut down on citizens’ ability to sponsor extended family members, a process President Trump refers to as “chain migration.” Instead, it would use a merit-based points system to determine who receives visas in the future.