House Republican factions hunt for immigration deal

Rep. Carlos Curbelo speaks during an interview in Homestead Fla. last month

A leader of House moderates says his group has tentatively agreed to an offer from conservatives to help young "Dreamer" immigrants stay in the US legally.

And by a whopping 25 percent margin, voters say they're more likely to back a congressional candidate who promises to serve as a check on Trump than less likely.

The California Republican, who has been leading a push for a vote on immigration along with Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., said that a deal with House leadership or a majority of signatures to force a vote past leadership would happen by the end of the week.

"This was their offer to us and it's something we can agree to, but not until we see it on paper", Denham said.

Lawmakers said the meeting was a broad exchange of ideas meant to get proposals onto the table.

But Denham said the deal itself and actual legislative text needed to be finalized by Tuesday and a guaranteed time for a floor vote, or else they would join with Democrats to force a floor vote on a bipartisan fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shielded immigrants brought to the U.S.as children from deportation. Many conservatives have opposed a pathway to citizenship, and leaders say the votes, which would surely draw Democratic support, would be divisive and damage the party's electoral prospects among GOP voters in November. "Does the fact that we've forced people to the table guarantee that we will have a resolution? No".

He's also wanted to end a lottery that distributes about 50,000 visas annually to countries with few US immigrants and to limit the relatives legal immigrants can bring to this country. Denham said a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus put an offer on the table that the moderates accepted.

On the ground there, Democrats are pounding the GOP for its inaction on DACA and other immigration-related issues.

Among those disapproving, the most popular reasons are "he doesn't know what he's doing" (22 percent), "he doesn't have the temperament" (20 percent), while others say he's "divisive" or "racist" (13 percent), "corrupt" (9 percent), and "lies" (7 percent).

"I've been around here for three and a half years, I can tell when something is either trending the right direction, the wrong direction or it's just pretend", Walker said.

One key obstacle is whether members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus will be able to support a plan that would give DACA recipients a green card and eventually a path to citizenship.

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"I feel good about the kind of conversations we're having", House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters Wednesday.

By overwhelming backing a left-leaning candidate like Newsom over a relative moderate like Villaraigosa, the Democrats have left the Republican Party an opening in California, he said.

The signatures are part of a discharge petition, which needs 218 signatures to force a vote on four immigration bills on the House floor without leadership approval. GOP leaders are scrambling to prevent the petition from being completed on Tuesday, which would set a debate for June 25. Though Curbelo said Thursday that deadline could slip to July if progress is being made. Walker said the more "Dreamers" who'd be given an opportunity for citizenship, the tighter curbs on family-based migration would be.

Conservatives have been adamant about not providing a "special" process carving out a unique way for Dreamers to gain legal status, and some of them bristled at Denham's narrower description.

Yet, even if lawmakers manage to corral around a bill-one that appeases Democrats and moderates who want so-called Dreamers to have a path to citizenship and Republicans who are eager to reject anything that can be perceived as amnesty, at that-it will still face an uphill battle.

President Trump's overall job rating is holding steady, buoyed by a record number approving of his handling of the economy.

The Fox News survey comes as welcome news for Democrats as they seek to regain control of the House in November's midterm elections.

In exchange for providing possible citizenship for Dreamers, Trump has demanded full financing for his wall with Mexico.

Other winners in the Golden State included Audrey Denney, a Democratic educator and farmer who advanced in the race for California's first House district after getting 17.5% of the vote, while Republican incumbent Doug LaMalfa took almost 52 % of all votes.

Voters in the Republican primary also will choose between incumbent Rep. Barbara Comstock and Shak Hill for their nominee in the 10th District race for the U.S. House of Representatives.

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