Jordan: GOP leadership to blame for immigration bill failure

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana. Getty Images photo

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U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana. Getty Images photo

By Jack Torry

Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON – Republican congressman Jim Jordan of Urbana blamed House GOP leaders for the collapse of an immigration overhaul last week backed by conservatives but opposed by Republican moderates such as Rep. Mike Turner of Dayton.

In an interview Sunday on CBS’s “Face The Nation,” Jordan complained “if our leadership” had energetically pressed Republican lawmakers to support the conservative bill “it would have passed.”

“It was that close to passing,” Jordan insisted.

The House defeated the conservative version Thursday, 231-to-193, as Turner and 40 other House Republicans joined House Democrats in opposing the measure. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., then postponed a vote on a compromise measure designed to win the votes of moderate Republicans such as Turner.

“The compromise bill was pulled because it was going to get a lot less votes,” said Jordan, who along with GOP conservatives opposed the compromise measure.

Turner disputed Jordan’s claim saying last Tuesday Trump “joined us on Capitol Hill and Speaker Ryan presented a bill to our conference that would secure our border, ensure families stay together, and overhaul our immigration system by ending chain and lottery immigration.”

“That was not the bill that failed in the House on Thursday,” Turner said. “The bill that failed had no chance of becoming law. I support the bill presented by Speaker Ryan that is supported by President Trump.”

The conservative bill almost certainly would have reduced legal immigration and called on employers to use an internet system known as E-Verify to make certain they were hiring legal employees.

The conservative bill did not offer a chance for citizenship for Dreamers – people brought to this country as children by illegal immigrants. Instead, they would have been provided temporary status by applying every three years for renewable legal status.

By contrast, the compromise measure backed by Turner would allow as many as 1.8 million Dreamers for a chance to become citizens and authorized $25 billion to enhance security along the border between the United States and Mexico, including a border wall demanded by President Donald Trump.

Jordan insisted “we want to welcome folks who come here for legitimate reasons who want to … who follow the law.”

But Jordan said “the mandate from the 2016 election was real clear — the American people made Donald Trump president; made Republicans the majority in the House and the Senate — to build a border security wall, stop chain migration, end the sanctuary city policy, reform our asylum laws, get rid of the visa lottery and then also deal with the” Dreamers.

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