House Shoots Down GOP's Immigration Bill, Leaves Agricultural Industry Untouched
WASHINGTON, DC - After much contention, the House rejected the GOP’s recent immigration bill. This decision, which was voted down by a jarring 301 to 121 vote, arrives in the wake of skepticism that the bill would resolve immigration issues, including within the agricultural industry, and problems with the laws that are currently being imposed.
The conflicting parties are unable to agree on the proper course of action moving forward—Democrats oppose the bill’s harsh treatment of immigrants, while Republicans have been unable to agree on the proper direction of where they want legislation to move forward.
The latest version of the bill left the E-Verify system out of the draft, among other measures. The E-Verify component, which we previously reported about in our coverage of this bill’s vote, would have tracked whether ag workers have legal standing or not, but it was removed. The addition of this system was not enough to sway staunch Republicans to vote yes, so the party opted to remove it; however, the removal was not enough to appease the moderate.
In fact, a few amendments were made to the bill before House members cast their votes. According to Forbes, these issues included the following:
- The E-Verify system that permits agricultural employers to check the immigration status for those applying to work for them
- Around 450,000 guest worker visas for those working in the agricultural industry
- The addition of more immigration judges to adjudicate cases
It included, however, these measures, according to the news source:
- A path to citizenship for DACA's "Dreamers”
- The passing of $25 billion to build a wall separating the U.S. and Mexico
- A policy that keeps families together after parents seek entrance into the U.S. illegally
- Allowing children to be detained with their parents if caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally, lifting the Flores case
- Limits on legal and illegal immigration
- The passing of $7 billion to build new facilities for those being detained after illegally entering the U.S.
As of last Friday, Trump encouraged House Republicans to lay off immigration until the midterm elections, according to CNBC, pointing to the daunting task of passing a Republican-drafted bill through the Senate. However, never the one to settle on an issue if it feels unresolved, Trump changed his tune on Wednesday, the news outlet reported.
“HOUSE REPUBLICANS SHOULD PASS THE STRONG BUT FAIR IMMIGRATION BILL, KNOWN AS GOODLATTE II, IN THEIR AFTERNOON VOTE TODAY, EVEN THOUGH THE DEMS WON’T LET IT PASS IN THE SENATE. PASSAGE WILL SHOW THAT WE WANT STRONG BORDERS & SECURITY WHILE THE DEMS WANT OPEN BORDERS = CRIME. WIN!” Trump tweeted in all caps prior to the vote.
In the wake of this bill’s failure, Republican leaders are focusing on legislation that tends to the separation of children from their parents, which stems from a Trump administration policy prosecuting adult migrants for illegal entrance into the U.S., according to Wall Street Journal. This is part of the zero tolerance policy employed since the spring.
There has been no luck in the recent string of drafted and revised immigration bills thus far, with the House shooting down another GOP immigration plan last week, according to Bloomberg. Forbes points out that the measures addressed in this current bill could pop up again come midterm elections.
Will the next immigration bill reveal measures taken to address labor in our industry, or will the House leave the restrictive policies off the bill again come next round of votes? AndNowUKnow is staying tuned into the discussion and will keep you informed with the latest developments.