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Republicans Look to Trump to Help Pass Immigration Bill


Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., left, confers with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 16, 2018.

House Republicans are looking to President Donald Trump to help them pass an immigration bill that does not have the support of right-wing lawmakers.

A day after Speaker Paul Ryan announced that the House would vote next week on two competing immigration measures, the details are still being worked out on a Republican-approved bill that would grant young undocumented immigrants a way to citizenship.

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The bill would grant "Dreamers," people who were illegally brought to the U.S. as children, a respite from the threat of deportation and a chance to gain U.S. citizenship. As a compromise to conservatives, the bill would also finance Trump's proposed border wall with Mexico, curb family migration and end the visa lottery program.

“We’ve been working hand in glove with the administration on this to make sure that we’re bringing a bill that represents the president’s ‘four pillars’ so that we can come together," Ryan told reporters Wednesday. “It’s a product of good compromise.”

At a closed-door meeting with House Republicans, Ryan said Trump "seemed very supportive'' of the compromise," lawmakers told reporters.

But despite Ryan's assurance of the president's support, some conservatives might be looking for a more vocal endorsement from Trump.

Moderate Republicans and Democrats had threatened use a discharge petition to force a vote on four immigration bills.

A discharge petition is a procedural move that forces a bill out of committee and to the House floor for a vote. In order to succeed, it needs 218 signatures. But the coalition fell short by two Republican signatures.

The Republican leadership had feared that a discharge petition could have led to a coalition of Democrats and a few Republicans passing bills helping Dreamers without strong enough enforcement provisions.

House Republicans have been struggling over immigration legislation since Trump last year ended the Obama administration-era program that protected the Dreamers.

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