White House says Trump backs GOP immigration bills, despite comments opposing them

House Speaker Paul Ryan, although he said he does not agree with separation of immigrant families at the border bla

Two competing Bills are headed to the floor, a hard-line immigration measure and a compromise version crafted by the House Republican leadership.

The other is a conservative Republican measure that would sharply reduce legal immigration, build a wall on the Mexican border and deny Dreamers the chance of citizenship.

Neither bill before the House addresses the controversial practice of separating children from their parents at the border, a result of a Trump administration "zero-tolerance" policy rebuked as inhumane by Democrats and Republicans alike. The conservative alternative was heavy on border security and enforcement. "In this morning's interview, he was commenting on the discharge petition in the House, and not the new package", deputy press secretary Raj Shah said in a statement.

"We don't need to vote on both of these at the same time", the Virginia Republican said. Those items are included in the middle-ground package.

"President Trump has to say my priority is the wall and then work with us on getting a bill that gets his wall and other things", Ros-Lehtinen said.

Trump then reiterated his long-stated desire to end the diversity visa lottery program, which randomly grants visas to foreigners and their families from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. "I certainly wouldn't sign the more moderate one".

"The House moderates will lose all credibility if they accept this sham of a bill, which is extreme and drastically cuts immigration in ways unacceptable to the Senate and the American people", Schumer said in a statement on Monday.

The President himself will have the opportunity to explain his views Tuesday evening at the House Republican conference meeting.

Still, negotiators on both sides of the GOP said they were not ready to endorse the draft. Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus have expressed concerns with the bill, as have moderate members who helped negotiate the plan but want to do more to ensure that children are not separated from their parents at the border. "The administration turned on the policy and it needs to turn it off".

Because of the current administration's "zero tolerance" policy, families would still be separated while the parents are being prosecuted.

No GOP senators, however, have signed on to the bill, which would need 60 votes to move forward. None of the 51 Senate Republicans have signed on to the bill.

"We won't guarantee passage", Ryan said. "I will tell you that nobody likes this policy".

Kelli Ward, one of Representative McSally's main opponents in the Arizona Senate primary on August 28, was more scathing in her assessment.

Republican leaders this week announced a plan to vote on two immigration bills next week. "Congress should focus on border security and stop talking about amnesty as a solution". Bob Casey took an equally aggressive approach against his own party's immigration plan.

Representative Barletta said he has compassion for the children caught up in the immigration debate.

Almost 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the new "zero-tolerance" policy that refers all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution.

If a mother and child enter the US illegally, the mother is sent to a federal jail or other detention center to await prosecution; since children can not be held in an adult facility, they're put into the custody of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement.

The Republicans who declined to comment or ignored AP questions included Senate candidates Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Mike Braun of IN, and Matt Rosendale of Montana.

"House Republicans are not going to take on immigration without the support and endorsement of President Trump", McHenry said. Now the White House is saying that, yes, he will.

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