WASHINGTON — A group of 34 House Republicans on Tuesday asked Speaker Paul Ryan to act this month on legislation dealing with the 800,000 young immigrants brought to the United States as children and living here illegally.
Ryan has said he does not see a need to act before March, the deadline President Donald Trump gave Congress to find a permanent solution after he suspended the temporary protections against deportation granted by the Obama administration. The GOP lawmakers, in a letter to Ryan, pressed for quick action.
“We must pass legislation that protects DACA recipients from deportation and gives them the opportunity to apply for a more secured status in our country as soon as possible,” the lawmakers wrote. “Reaching across the aisle to protect DACA recipients before the holidays is the right thing to do.”
Democrats repeatedly have pressed for a legislative solution, arguing these immigrants are facing an uncertain future. Now, this similar show of support from Republicans, including some from competitive House districts, complicates some of the end-of-the-year negotiations to keep the government open.
Some of the 34 signatories had already made the same request when they held a news conference last month. The group includes several of the nearly 80 members of the Republican Main Street Caucus.
Its chairman Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., said in a news release the letter shows many Republicans are serious about finding a permanent solution.
But Davis warned that “we want to work with leadership to craft a solution that will pass, not play political games or hold government funding hostage like some of our Democrat counterparts.”
Several House Democrats have said they won’t support a critical spending bill this month needed to keep the government open unless the issue is resolved.
The House Republicans sent their letter while activists held several events Tuesday — and plan more this week— to push for a DACA vote before the Christmas break later this month.