House Immigration Bills: What's At Stake?

The House will vote on two immigration proposals Thursday.
Posted at 9:40 AM, Jun 19, 2018

On Thursday, members of the House will vote on two different immigration bills that address the fate of children brought to the U.S. illegally, otherwise known as "Dreamers." 

Up first is the Securing America's Future Act of 2018, which was written by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. His proposal has been referred to as the "conservative" one, because it wouldn't provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. The act would also eliminate the diversity visa lottery, require employers to use E-Verify systems to confirm their employees' citizenship and provide funding for President Trump's border wall. 

The second option is the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act, also known as the "compromise" bill since it was drafted by House leadership, moderate Republicans and White House staffers. This one would give Dreamers a chance to become legal permanent residents if they meet certain qualifications and would not mandate E-Verify systems. However, like the conservative bill, it would end the diversity visa lottery and set aside money for Trump's wall. 

The future of the compromise legislation was thrown into question Friday after Trump said during an interview that he wouldn't support it. However, the White House released a statement shortly after that said he would back either of them. 

On Tuesday, Trump will meet with House Republicans to review the legislation ahead of the vote, but it remains unclear how likely it is for either of them to pass. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., released a statement Monday saying the bill "holds Dreamers and kids who have been separated from their parents hostage in order to cut legal immigration and enact the hard right’s immigration agenda. If the House moderates really want to get something done on immigration, they should not be duped by their leadership for a bill that they know isn't going anywhere."

Congress will vote on the bills as national outcry over the separation of families at the border grows. Neither bill proposes ending the policy, but lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been critical of it.