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Congressional Republicans are meeting this week for a two-hour discussion about immigration, where the GOP are trying to square the circle between Paul Ryan’s strategy on immigration and the Dreamers (aka letting hardliners do almost whatever they want), and a more bipartisan approach that could help save dozens of moderate Republicans from being thrown out of office this fall.
Why are these moderate Republicans pushing the issue now? Well, the fact that it’s an election year surely has something to do with it.
But remember: Congressional Republicans — who own the House, Senate, and White House — haven’t done anything for Dreamers since Donald Trump ended DACA last September. Paul Ryan has been following the lead of immigration extremists in Congress and has allowed multiple anti-immigrant votes. So far, Republicans who are more moderate on immigration haven’t done anything to push back. Around a couple dozen of them have signed onto a discharge petition for Dreamer legislation, but that isn’t equivalent to pushing for a real vote.
Congressional Republicans have had no fewer than seven chances on budget issues alone to act on legislation for Dreamers. Unlike their Freedom Caucus colleagues who use these votes to secure their priorities, they’ve taken none of them. If some “moderates” are making goodwill gestures now that this is an election year, the effort is worth little unless they can actually secure a vote.