The Republican-led House resoundingly rejected a far-ranging immigration bill on Wednesday despite an eleventh-hour endorsement by President Donald Trump, as the gulf between the GOP's moderate and conservative wings proved too deep for leaders to avert an election-year display of division.
It also keeps government agencies from taking migrant children away from detained parents and creates a path to citizenship for so-called "Dreamers" - illegal immigrants brought to the USA when they were young.
The House could vote next month on a narrower measure that is being developed and would focus specifically on the family separations issue, although prospects for its passage are uncertain.
House Republicans are considering crafting stand-alone legislation curbing the separation of migrant families at the border in an effort to quell the fierce blowback created by President Trump's since-reversed policy, GOP aides said Monday.
"House republicans should pass the strong but fair immigration bill, known as Goodlatte ii, in their afternoon vote today, even though they won't let it pass in the senate".
The rejection of the bill once again revealed the divide between the moderate and conservative leaders within the Republican Party over the issue, with several Republican conservatives arguing that it tilts in favor of undocumented immigrants. It was also the latest example of Trump's erratic dealings with Congress. Democrats, though, said the bill would have made that path more hard. A vote is scheduled for this evening.
"In additional to two very bad bills, there was a power grab by the leadership to deprive the members of the house the use of the tool", Welch said.
Since Trump initiated his zero tolerance policy of detaining everyone who enters the USA illegally, more than 2,000 immigrant children have been separated from their parents.
He also said last week that Republicans should wait to take action on immigration until after November's midterm elections.
As such, and through a purely Irish reform lens, neither bill would have met the criteria necessary to be dubbed a true comprehensive immigration reform measure.
No Democrats support it.
Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., and Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., from districts with large numbers of Hispanic voters, helped force Ryan to stage immigration votes. The group includes Republicans, Sens.
"He said the parents are in detention and we can't put them back with the parents because there's a 20-day limit with the courts", Nelson said. He at first urged Congress to act quickly and follow up his order with legislation, then he said lawmakers should give up on it.
"Obviously, I have a different point of view", the Iowa Republican said, adding that he supports the Tillis amendment which recognizes "the need for increasing the number of immigration judges so we can process these people and keep them out of limbo".
She said she was proud to have worked on getting language into the bill meant to permanently prevent family separations at the border and that, as the child of Haitian immigrants, "this issue is tangible and personal to me".
The children separated from their parents in recent weeks are now scattered across the country, some in foster homes and others in institutions, their whereabouts often unknown to their parents.