WASHINGTON D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives voted against an immigration compromise bill on Wednesday and Fourth Congressional District Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Yakima, believes there is “political posturing” at play with regard to issues surrounding immigration.
H.R. 6136, the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act, was defeated in the House in a 301-121 vote. Newhouse, who co-sponsored the bill and voted in its favor, believes the failure of the bill to pass is a blow to Americans.
“The unwillingness of partisans on both sides to come together to support legislation the President endorsed and agreed to sign into law is one of the most disheartening aspects of serving in the People’s House,” Newhouse remarked. “I am bitterly disappointed that a minority of Republicans and all Democrats voted against securing our southern border as well as a legislative solution for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) beneficiaries.”
The highlights of the bill included: enforcement of immigration laws that are currently in place, the closure of immigration enforcement loopholes, the ending of the controversial “catch and release” immigration policy, $25 billion in funding to secure the southern border, a legislative solution for beneficiaries of the DACA program and the creation of a new merit-based visa program.
Wednesday’s vote was unanimous amongst House Democrats, as 189 Democratic Party lawmakers voted against the bill and not a single House Democrat voted for it. On the other side of the aisle House Republicans were split on the matter, with 112 House GOP members voting against it and 121 voting for it. To Newhouse the vote is a result of “political posturing” by lawmakers who, he says, “refuse to lift a finger to address our immigration crisis.” He pointed out the legislation was endorsed by President Donald Trump due to it being in tune with his four pillars for immigration reform, with the pillars being a path to citizenship for DACA recipients, securing the border, putting an end to the diversity visa lottery program and limiting family-based immigration.
“Those of us who are working for a long-term solution must not stop advocating for legislation that can be signed into law to secure our borders, keep our country safe, and give certainty to DACA beneficiaries who were brought here through no fault of their own,” Newhouse said.
Newhouse is quick to note there will be an upcoming vote in July to address problems surrounding agriculture producers not being able to find workers.
“I will not stop advocating for improvements to create a reliable legal guest-worker system. If our nation’s farmers are to continue providing food for America and the world, it is incumbent on Congress to act to address labor needs. I thank the (House) Speaker (Paul Ryan) for committing to hold a vote on this matter in July.”