Immigration Fight Gets Lonely For Some In GOP

House Republicans who favor a bipartisan replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are increasingly at odds with their leadership, as the party digs in for a difficult midterm election. 

Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) has rounded up 45 votes — and is expecting more in the coming week — on a resolution that would put four separate immigration bills up for a House vote in a process known as "Queen of the Hill."

Under Queen of the Hill, several proposals on the same issue are voted on, and the bill with the most votes is adopted, so long as it wins a majority of the House.

Denham's resolution would allow the House to pick between a conservative, Republican-only immigration bill proposed by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.); the DREAM Act, a nominally bipartisan albeit liberal proposal that would protect millions of so-called Dreamers from deportation; the USA Act, a bipartisan proposal that would exchange Dreamer protections for border security provisions; and a bill of Speaker Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) choosing.

But Trump has rejected multiple immigration proposals, insisting that any DACA bill also cut legal immigration, a non-starter for Democrats and some Republicans.

And it's unlikely any immigration bill that could clear the House without Democratic votes would then be able to pass the Senate.

"This is a midterm election. Obviously the Republicans are in trouble in mostly suburban districts where the Democrats are trying to use immigration as an issue," said Ford O'Connell, a Republican political analyst. 

"On the campaign trail, they’re going to err more toward the President Trump side," he added. 

"I don’t think they’re leaving them for dead. What they’re telling them is you can do anything you need to do to win," O'Connell said.

"The best you can hope for is to equip them with as much money as they need to fight this race on their own terms," he added. 

Read more from Rafael Bernal at The Hill

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