GOP meeting ends with no immigration deal, next step unclear

WASHINGTON (AP) — Divided House Republicans left a bargaining session Tuesday night saying they’d not reached an immigration compromise. It remained unclear whether restive moderates would follow through on their threat to force votes soon on the troublesome issue, and questions even arose about whether they still had enough support to do that.

Three Republicans involved in the talks said centrist lawmakers had coalesced around a proposal that would give young “Dreamer” immigrants a chance to eventually become citizens.

In exchange the moderates were willing to make concessions to conservatives on security issues, including providing all $25 billion for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico and curbing legal immigration programs, those Republicans said. The programs included limiting the relatives whom immigrants can bring to the U.S. and ending a lottery that provides visas to people from countries with low immigration rates, the Republicans said.

But a meeting led by Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., ended with participants saying no agreement had been reached. Several expressed optimism that an accord was near but provided no evidence of that.

“We’re still working to finalize what will move forward,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. “We’re close, we’re very close.”

A top Republican aide AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Ryan, says the House will vote next week on two immigration bills. The plan comes after GOP moderates and conservatives failed to reach agreement on a compromise measure.