The Ryan legislation includes four immigration reform requirements outlined by President Trump in January. That includes providing a special pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million Dreamers who came here as children, a reduction in chain migration, an end to the visa lottery system, and money for a wall along the southern border.
The Goodlatte/McCaul measure provides a more difficult pathway to citizenship and only for the approximately 800,000 people now enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program put in place by President Barack Obama. Goodlatte’s bill would end chain migration, the visa lottery system, and would authorize border wall funding.
President Trump, who said he backs either the Ryan bill or the Goodlatte/McCaul measure, is expected to urge House Republicans to pass either bill Tuesday afternoon when he makes a rare visit to the Capitol.
The Ryan bill is considered a compromise measure that includes aspects of the more conservative Goodlatte measures and a bill authored by moderate Republicans, who had in recent weeks threatened to use a discharge petition to force a floor vote on legislation to protect Dreamers from deportation.
There is currently just one bill in the US Senate that would stop the Trump administration policy of family separation. The Keep Families Together Act now has the support of every single Senate Democrat, but no Republicans have yet signed on.
The bill was introduced a couple weeks ago by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking member of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee. Feinstein’s bill would outlaw family separations except in very specific cases — when there’s reason to believe a child is being trafficked or abused by his or her parents.
Rather than join the 49 Democratic senators who have signed on to Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) Keep Families Together Act, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) this week announced his own legislation geared towards addressing the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy of separating immigrant families detained at the border.
The bill, called the Protect Kids and Parents Act, would provide more resources for immigration judges to adjudicate asylum claims in just 14 days and require the federal government to keep immigrant families together “absent aggravated criminal conduct or threat of harm to the children.”