Rep. Jeff Denham previewed upcoming attempts on immigration reform Friday, after Republicans failed to pass their comprehensive “compromise” bill earlier this week.
“I think there are extremes on both sides that want to politicize the issue and use it for political gain,” he said on during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
The California Republican said the fight over immigration, whether it be with Democrats or fellow Republicans, is not over. He explained that on particular issues, like the Dreamer fix, there are Democrats willing to work across the aisle.
Mr. Denham explained the way forward was most likely through smaller, more narrow bills that tackle individual aspects of the overall immigration system. He said that the first bill would address the ongoing family separation issue, and the next issue on the table would be a fix for DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“The first has to be keeping families together. This is just unimaginable,” he said.
Mr. Denham expects the family separation fix, which would rely on language from the amendment to the failed compromise bill, would come after the Fourth of July week. However, he noted that meant at least two more weeks of children and parents being separated because “nothing moves fast in Congress.”
While the congressman said there was “enough” of his fellow GOP members to work on reform in a bipartisan way, Mr. Denham took aim at the very conservative Freedom Caucus. He explained he was learning how to employ parliamentary procedures to counter the group.
“We’re going to hold the Freedom Caucus accountable,” he said.
The Trump-backed compromise bill failed in the House on Wednesday, with 121 Republicans voting against the legislation designed to appease both hard-line and more moderate GOP lawmakers.
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