Senate Republicans are divided over the immigration bill that seems to be headed for approval by the end of the week, a division that means the ultimate fate of the legislation, which is being backed by the White House, could be uncertain in the House of Representatives and is complicating the Republican Party’s ability to increase its appeal with Hispanic voters.
Some Republicans think that the level of support the bill receives in the Senate is ultimately irrelevant to how it will fare in the House, where conservatives hold the majority and are generally opposed to the core provision featured in the Senate measure that would offer a pathway to citizenship to the millions of undocumented immigrants who currently reside in the United States.
However, other Republicans hold a different view, with Senator Paul Ryan believing that final legislation has been made more likely by the agreement that was reached on Monday to toughen border security with the addition of billions of dollars in technology and thousands of new agents. Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer is also optimistic that the sentiment in the House can be changed.
“I believe a large bipartisan vote will wake up our colleagues… in the House,” Schumer noted just before the new border security requirements were inserted into the immigration bill. “Hopefully, as congressmen look how their Senators voted, they will be influenced by it.” However, Republicans have a majority of 234-201 in the House, and just 17 GOP defections could end up altering the outcome of any vote.