The House will vote Thursday on legislation that would end the practice of separating families who try to cross the border illegally, Speaker Paul Ryan announced this morning.
Ryan, who has spoken out against the practice of separating families, said that House Republicans hope to eliminate the practice as part of a broader immigration bill that will be brought to the floor Thursday.
“We do not want children taken away from their parents. We can enforce our immigration laws without breaking families apart. The administration says it wants Congress to act and we are. Tomorrow, the House will vote on legislation to keep families together,” Ryan told reporters during the press conference.
However, the Wisconsin lawmaker did not rule out the possibility of introducing a standalone bill as a contingency plan to address separations should Democrats refuse to support the broader legislation, which provides protection for Dreamers, increases funding for border security, and ends the diversity lottery for visas.
“Right now we’re focused on passing this legislation that’s coming to floor tomorrow. When other situations arise, what other circumstances are, we’ll cross those bridges when we get to it.”
GOP leadership is unlikely to receive any support from Democrats, who were reportedly never consulted during the formation of the GOP immigration bill.
The bill ending family separation is the more moderate counterpart to a hard-line immigration bill introduced by Representative Bob Goodlatte, which is also set to receive a vote Thursday but does not address family separation at the border.
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas introduced a standalone family-separation bill in the Senate that would provide funding for family-detention centers so that parents could remain with their children while awaiting their asylum proceedings.
President Trump, who has said he would support any immigration bill that passes the House, may preempt a legislative fix by ending family separation through executive action Thursday, Fox News’s John Roberts reported Wednesday morning.