Democrats Twist and Turn on Immigration as Republicans Attack in Waves
President Trump’s executive orders on immigration are provoking fierce debate inside and outside the Washington Beltway, but as his opponents continue to assail his immigration policies, the divisions within the Republican Party are widening.
The latest volley pits House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Texas Rep. Ted Poe against Trump. Last week, McCarthy spoke on the floor of the House to oppose a spending bill that included a bipartisan agreement to address DACA, a temporary executive order that shields young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation and prohibits funding for their deportation proceedings.
“As far as the spending bill, do you really, really, really want to make that deal?” McCarthy asked. “I don’t think so.”
He added, “I do not want to see a Congress that puts up votes to repeal something that has been in effect for over seven years, and, again, this is on the president’s desk and I’m just asking you to not put him in that position.”
The California Republican’s comments echoed a contentious back-and-forth between the House GOP and Trump over immigration during his State of the Union address. The president repeatedly called DACA a “challenge” and a “crisis” during the speech, and then turned to his top immigration aide, Stephen Miller, to ask about how to proceed.
“What is he going to do about these young people that are being apprehended and have been here for a while?” Trump said. “The only thing his (Miller’s) going to do is go and talk to a couple of senators or maybe the leaders of these two parties or maybe they don’t want to do it, but he’s going to go talk to them, and if they want to do something about DACA, he’s going to support it.”
The comment ignited the House GOP response, which was a rebuke of Trump. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., dismissed Trump’s plan as “a non-starter” in the run-up to the debate on DACA,