Jeff Sessions

House GOP Immigration Drama and Intrigue Mushrooms
Confusion over bill leads to delayed vote as blame casting begins

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., leaves his office on Thursday, June 21, as House Republicans struggle to find support for an immigration bill. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

The House Republican Conference was in disarray Thursday over immigration as GOP leaders delayed a key vote on a compromise bill and members began to cast blame for the measure’s predicted defeat.

The events escalated a drama that had begun Wednesday as GOP leaders struggled, yet again, to unite their fractured conference.

House Rejects Conservative Immigration Bill, Delays Consideration of Compromise
Goodlatte-sponsored bill goes down as leaders look to round up support on second measure

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., followed by Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., leaves Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s offices on Thursday, June 21, 2018, as House GOP leadership tries to find a path to pass immigration legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday rejected, 193-231, an immigration bill conservatives favor, as GOP leaders delayed a vote on a compromise immigration bill moderate Republicans prefer. 

The vote on final passage of the compromise measure, originally scheduled for Thursday evening, is being moved to Friday to provide more time to answer members' questions about the bill, GOP aides confirmed.

Opinion: Trump May Have American Carnage, but Biden Has American Corny
As the president flexes muscles as the border, ‘Uncle Joe’ offers a different vision of strength

Former Vice President Joe Biden is drawing eager crowds on his book tour. His optimism may be corny, Curtis writes, but it may yet counter scenes at the border. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

You know the lights may be dimming on the American experiment when Attorney General Jeff Sessions resurrects an abbreviated Bible passage that slaveholders once used to justify selling children away from parents to justify separating children from parents on America’s Southern border and then parses the difference between his “zero tolerance” plans and Nazi tactics — as a defense. Leaving aside that using any interpretation of the Bible (or the Koran or any holy book) in setting government policy slides awfully close to a theocracy, this is strong stuff.

And don’t forget the 2018 version of the Pips — Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and Kirstjen Nielsen — singing backup to their official and unofficial leader on immigration, with special guest Corey Lewandowski adding his signature mocking “womp, womp” refrain.

Justice Department Puts Judge in Hot Seat on Migrant Families
‘Are we going to be able to detain alien families together, or are we not?’

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., called current practices at the border not acceptable and prohibited. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal judge will determine the fate of a key part of President Donald Trump’s executive order on keeping together migrant families who are detained at the U.S.-Mexico border, a Justice Department official said Wednesday.

Gene Hamilton, counselor to the attorney general, said Judge Dolly Gee of the Central District of California has a “simple decision” when it comes to the Trump administration asking to modify her previous ruling about how the government can detain children.

GOP Chaos, Confusion Ahead of Thursday Immigration Votes
Prospects for passage appeared poor amid haphazard whip effort

Attorney General Jeff Sessions went to the House to ask Republicans to support the immigration bills the chamber will consider Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Confusion and chaos ensued Wednesday as House Republican leaders conducted a haphazard whip effort on a compromise immigration bill they planned to bring to the floor the next day. The prospects for the bill passing were clearly poor.

The frenetic feel of the day was similar to March 23, 2017. House GOP leaders spent that day engulfed in conversations with members as they tried to whip support for their bill to partially repeal and replace the 2010 health care law in an effort to vote on the law’s anniversary.

Trump Signs Executive Action Ending Family Separation
ACLU warns president’s action merely replaces ‘one crisis for another’

Central American asylum seekers wait as U.S. Border Patrol agents take groups of them into custody on June 12, 2018, near McAllen, Texas. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Updated 6:57 p.m. | Bowing to public pressure, President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive action ending the practice of separating migrant children from their parents amid a firestorm that saw congressional Republicans break with him.

The president contends Congress must pass legislation addressing the matter for it to be permanently solved given existing laws and court rulings his administration says mandates a process under which migrant children are separated from their parents when caught trying to illegally enter the United States. And it appears families can only be held together for 20 days, unless a federal judge alters a previous ruling placing a limit on detaining migrant families together.

Opinion: When Even Ted Cruz Balks at Trump’s Excesses
Children’s screams are now the soundtrack of the Trump era

A boy and father from Honduras are taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents near Mission, Texas, on June 12. (John Moore/Getty Images)

If the arc of history does indeed bend toward justice, then we know what soundtrack will greet future visitors to the Donald J. Trump Presidential Library and Golf Resort.

It will be the eight-minute audio recording, obtained and authenticated by ProPublica, of children in a Border Patrol detention facility screaming for their parents.

‘Trump Show’ Makes Tour Stop in Capitol Basement
President calls out Mark Sanford, opts against sticking to immigration

Speaker Paul D. Ryan escorts President Donald Trump to the House Republicans’ meeting Tuesday in the Capitol basement. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans might have gone into their Tuesday evening meeting with President Donald Trump expecting a discussion about immigration policy, but what they got was an episode of what might be dubbed “The Trump Show.”

The president did discuss dueling immigration bills crafted by members of the GOP conference. And he urged them to send him a bill that closes what his team dubs “loopholes” that he claims compelled his administration to institute a zero-tolerance program that prosecutes all adult migrants who try to enter the United States illegally, a misdemeanor, even if they arrive with minor children.

With Immigration Controversy as Backdrop, GOP Senate Candidates Blast Democrats
Candidates in Missouri, West Virginia and Pennsylvania criticize Democratic bill to address separation policy

Patrick Morrisey, who is running against Sen. Joe Manchin III, is using the current immigration controversy to blast his Democratic opponent. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While senators in both parties said Tuesday they want to solve the crisis of parents and children being separated before immigration cases are adjudicated, some Republican Senate candidates are focusing on criticizing Democratic incumbents who have signed on to a legislative fix.

At least three Senate nominees have come out on the attack against a proposal led by Judiciary ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California that would bar parents and children from being separated by the Homeland Security Department except in unusual cases, such as when the parent does not have custodial rights.

Analysis: Trump Repeats False Claim on Dems, Family Separation
Cummings to GOP: “We need you to stand up for these children”

President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in the Capitol Rotunda on Feb. 28. Despite evidence to the contrary, the president continues to repeat falsehoods about his administration’s immigration policy that separates migrant children from parents, Bennett writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday repeated his false claim that Democrats are solely responsible for his decision to separate migrant children from their parents when they attempt to illegally enter the United States.

“As a result of Democratic-supported loopholes in our federal laws, most illegal immigrant families and minors from Central America … cannot be detained together or released together, only released,” he said during remarks at a small-business conference in Washington, adding that the “crippling loopholes … cause family separation that we don’t want.”