Republican Congressman Mike Coffman of Colorado planned to push legislation that would extend protections to the 800,000 Dreamers that now fear deportation after Donald Trump rescinded former President Obama’s DACA protections, but House Speaker Paul Ryan successfully pushed him to hold off, according to a new report from The Hill.
According to the report, the GOP representative had planned to “force a vote on his bill to extend work permits and deferred deportations for young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.”
More from the report:
Coffman said he made an agreement with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to hold off on gathering support for his discharge petition for the bill, which would extend protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for three years.
Coffman filed the discharge petition on Tuesday, which would need 218 signatures to trigger a House floor vote. Discharge petitions are typically used by the House minority party to bring attention to legislation ignored by the majority-party leadership – but are rarely successful.
For a member of the House majority like Coffman to file a discharge petition was an exceedingly rare move.
But Coffman told The Hill that he spoke with Ryan on Thursday and agreed to hold off on his discharge petition as lawmakers begin to consider a long-term legislative fix for undocumented immigrant children.
The report noted that Ryan claimed he wanted to pursue a long-term fix for Dreamers, but in this political environment, with this president, it’s hard to imagine that a comprehensive immigration reform bill would make it through Congress.
That’s why Congress must push, as Coffman was doing, for a clean bill to protect Dreamers immediately before it’s too late.
Ultimately, the Speaker’s successful effort to kill Dreamer legislation is shameful, but the fact that a Republican congressman was pursuing it shows that there is a desire among some within the GOP to be on the right side history.