House Votes Down Second Immigration Reform Bill

A compromise immigration bill that would have created a pathway to citizenship for some young immigrants, provided $25 billion for a boarder wall with Mexico, and other security measures, has failed to pass the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would have also prevented children from being separated from their parents at the border, an issue that has take center stage in recent weeks.

Last week the House rejected an immigration bill – introduced by Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) – after GOP leadership postponed a second vote on the compromise legislation drafted in an attempt to bridge the gap between conservatives and moderates within the party.

The compromise legislation struggled to attract enough support from Republicans. It failed 121-301, with nearly half of Republicans opposing the measure.

Of interest to the food products industry was that Goodlatte’s bill would have replaced the current H-2A guestworker program with a new one called H-2C. It would also have required employers to use E-Verify – an electronic verification system to ensure workers are legal.  The compromise bill too would have added the new agricultural guest worker program and mandate that employers use E-Verify – major priorities of moderates and conservatives in the GOP, respectively.

The 193-231 vote on Goodlatte’s bill came a day after President Trump signed an executive order ending the controversial practice of separating children from parents who cross the border illegally. Every Democrat and 41 Republicans voted against that bill.

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