Republican leaders have invited President Trump to visit Capitol Hill this week to try to repair the damage he did when he said he wouldn’t sign the immigration compromise that House Republicans had spent months writing.
Speaker Paul D. Ryan and his team want to have a vote on their immigration plan by the end of this week, but first they will need the president to tell them — and likely to tell the country as a whole — that he fully embraces the “moderate” bill that Republican leaders crafted, which combines a full pathway to citizenship for perhaps 1.8 million illegal immigrants with a border wall and changes to legal and illegal immigration policy.
On Friday, Mr. Trump said he wouldn’t sign it, undercutting weeks of intense negotiations in which his own administration had participated. The White House later insisted that Mr. Trump misunderstood the question and would sign the bill, which was written with his own aides’ involvement and crafted specifically to match his four pillars of immigration reform.
But Mr. Trump has yet to recant his rejection personally, leaving conservatives wary of being left out on a limb if they back an “amnesty” without having Mr. Trump to provide political cover with their right-wing base.
Indeed, they are getting pressure from the right. Former White House political strategist Steve Bannon warned of impending political catastrophe for Republicans if they advance the moderate bill.
“This is a way [to] potentially lose 50 seats,” Mr. Bannon told ABC’s “This Week” program Sunday.
Republicans won’t get any help from Democrats, who appear unified in opposition. They say they will reject funding for a border wall that they call effectively useless and symbolically counterproductive and criticize Mr. Trump’s policies as increasingly cruel.
Democrats fanned out across the country on Sunday, which was Father’s Day, to denounce the Trump administration’s rate of deportations — still only about half of what it was during the peak years under President Obama.
The latest target is the administration’s zero-tolerance policy, which is applying criminal penalties to illegal immigrants nabbed at the border. When parents who come with children are arrested for jumping the border, it means at least a short-term separation while the parent goes to jail for a few days....The issue has become convoluted, with both sides delivering misleading versions of what is a complex system of polices and laws governing how the country treats illegal immigrants who arrive as adults, as families, and as juveniles traveling without their parents.On Sunday, Democrats, with camera crews in tow, visited a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility in New Jersey and a Customs and Border Protection facility on the border in Texas. In each case, they said they were there to protest the zero-tolerance policy.“What we saw here today