Friday, July 19, 2024

Another deadline and the GOP can’t make up its mind on immigration

Republicans are barreling toward a fight over immigration despite divisions on what the party’s strategy should be.

“In all likelihood no, we won’t have a single unified position on that. There will be wide varieties based on where your state is. … We won’t have a single Republican message,” Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) told reporters.

GOP lawmakers decamped Friday from a retreat in West Virginia meant to tout unity around their 2018 agenda without finding a consensus on what to do about the DACA program and DREAMers. The political discord is set to come this week as Senate is expected to turn to the debate as early as today.

A growing number of Senate Republicans are backing a scaled-back plan that would include only a DACA fix and a border security package — though the details of such an agreement would still need to be sketched out. The scaled-back path would be a break from the “four pillars” agreed to by President Trump and a bipartisan group of lawmakers, and will likely garner backlash from conservatives and the White House.

The scaled-back plan is already being criticized by some members of the caucus who characterize the White House’s framework, as a “generous” offer and a sign of Trump’s willingness to compromise after taking a hard line during the 2016 campaign. Despite GOP lawmakers’ wariness of what immigration talks are going to be like this week, many have predicted that an agreement that is “much smaller than what the president is going for” is where Congress will end up.

“It’s probably going to be some sort of legal status for DACA recipients that gives them the permanence of legal status and then the border security,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) told MetroNews’s “Talkline.”