The House killed a hard-right immigration bill Thursday, and Republican leaders delayed a planned vote on a compromise GOP package with the party’s lawmakers fiercely divided over an issue that has long confounded the party.
The conservative measure’s 231-193 defeat set the stage for debate on the second bill, this one crafted by Republican leaders in hopes of finding an accord between the party’s sparring moderate and conservative wings. That bill was considered too lenient by some conservatives and seemed likely to fall, too, and aides said the final roll call would wait till Friday.
Rejection of both would represent an embarrassment for President Donald Trump, who had embraced them. The battle over immigration has been intensified by heartbreaking images of migrant children separated from families and complicated by opaque statements by Trump.
At the White House, Trump defended his administration’s “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting all migrants caught illegally entering the country, a change that has caused thousands of families to be divided while the parents are detained. He said without it, “you would have a run on this country the likes of which nobody has ever seen.”
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