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Rep. Jordan blames GOP leaders for immigration bill failure

By Jack Torry • Updated Jun 25, 2018 at 11:19 PM

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Urbana) blamed House GOP leaders for the collapse of an immigration overhaul last week backed by conservatives but opposed by Republican moderates.

In an interview Sunday on CBS's "Face The Nation," Jordan complained that, "if our leadership" had energetically pressed Republican lawmakers to support the conservative bill, "it would have passed."

The House defeated the conservative version 231-193 on Thursday as Rep. Mike Turner of Dayton and 40 other Republicans joined Democrats in opposing the measure. Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., then postponed a vote on a compromise measure designed to win the votes of moderate Republicans.

"The compromise bill was pulled because it was going to get a lot less votes," said Jordan, who opposed it.

Turner disputed Jordan's claim, saying last Tuesday that Trump "joined us on Capitol Hill and Speaker Ryan presented a bill to our conference that would secure our border, ensure families stay together, and overhaul our immigration system by ending chain and lottery immigration."

"That was not the bill that failed in the House on Thursday," Turner said. "The bill that failed had no chance of becoming law. I support the bill presented by Speaker Ryan that is supported by President Trump."

The conservative bill almost certainly would have reduced legal immigration and called on employers to use an internet system known as E-Verify to make certain they were hiring legal employees.

The bill did not offer a chance for citizenship for Dreamers — people brought to this country as children by illegal immigrants. Instead, they would have been provided temporary status by applying every three years for renewable legal status.

By contrast, the compromise measure backed by Turner would give as many as 1.8 million Dreamers a chance to become citizens and authorized $25 billion to enhance security along the border between the United States and Mexico, including a border wall demanded by President Donald Trump.

Jordan insisted, "we want to welcome folks who come here for legitimate reasons who want to ... follow the law."

But, Jordan said, "the mandate from the 2016 election was real clear — the American people made Donald Trump president, made Republicans the majority in the House and the Senate — to build a border security wall, stop chain migration, end the sanctuary city policy, reform our asylum laws, get rid of the visa lottery and then also deal with the" Dreamers.

Jordan is the U.S. representative for Ohio's 4th congressional district, which includes Norwalk and northern Huron County.

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©2018 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

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