Republican-leadership backed immigration bill goes down in flames

U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Sessions talks about immigration at the NASRO School Safety Conference at the Peppermill Resort on Monday

President Donald Trump urged divided Republicans Wednesday to rally behind an immigration overhaul - though it appears doomed to fail - after a judge dealt a new blow to his "zero tolerance" border policy by ordering that separated families be swiftly reunited. According to GovTrack, 112 Republicans denied the measure. In the end with a vote of 121-301 today any hopes of seeing an immigration bill that would have funded President Trump's now famous "Border Wall", is now history maybe until after the 2018 mid-term elections.

Democrats and some moderate Republicans say ending the 20-day limit would keep families united at the unacceptable price of confining them together with no time limit.

The repeatedly delayed vote marks the umpteenth attempt by a deadlocked Congress to legislate a broad solution to the problem of illegal immigration - against the backdrop of a bitter political fight over the separation of migrant families at the Mexican border.

Trump has demanded that Congress resolve the family separations with legislation, in the face of an uproar at home and overseas over the separation of more than 2,300 children from their parents as a result of his administration's policy of "zero tolerance" toward illegal immigration.

The two votes in the House this week came after House Republicans failed for years to allow a vote at all on an immigration bill, reflecting deep divisions among House Republicans, fomented in part by Buck himself, who is a member of the ulta-right Freedom Caucus.

The government still holds more than 2,000 children taken from their detained migrant families, an exasperating public relations nightmare for many in the GOP. After watching their bill get unceremoniously rejected, moderate Republicans who forced this month's immigration debate called for a bipartisan process to solve the country's immigration crisis.

"I can not reunite them while the parents are in custody because the court order doesn't allow kids to be with their parents for more than 20 days", Azar said.

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Under the proposal, children who cross illegally with parents or adult guardians would no longer be separated - an issue that stirred significant controversy last week and led to a presidential order and federal court ruling.

Trump's support for the failed bill had wavered dramatically over the past several weeks - from the President appearing to criticize it on Fox News to personally pitching the legislation during an in-person meeting on Capitol Hill to his announcement just days later that Republicans should wait until after the midterms to address immigration.

"It is critical that Congress advance immigration reform so we can finally address our nation's critical immigration challenges, and I remain committed to working with my Republican colleagues and across the aisle to see that we solve it", he said.

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.

More: Did the Obama administration separate families? "We can give them 100 percent of what they wanted, and double it, they still wouldn't pass it". Leaders have so far been unable to bridge the divide, and the fight is fueling accusations that they are out of step with members of their conference.

Melania Trump last week visited a shelter that houses migrant children in Texas, but the trip was overshadowed by controversy over a jacket she wore with the words: "I really don't care, do u?" scrawled on the back.

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