WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican congressman says he’s trying to force a House vote on extending expiring protections against deportation for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants for three more years.
Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado says his measure would give Congress more time to decide how help the so-called Dreamers. They are young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children who have only temporary protection to stay here.
It was unclear whether Coffman can get the 218 signatures his petition needs.
Coffman faces a competitive re-election race this year in a district surrounding Denver in which around one in five voters are Hispanic.
Coffman announced his plan on the day President Donald Trump set as a deadline for Congress to extend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.
President Donald Trump is blaming Democrats for failing to pass legislation extending protections for young immigrants that he has tried to end.
Trump tweets, “It’s March 5th and the Democrats are nowhere to be found on DACA.” He says, “We are ready to make a deal!”
Trump announced last year he was ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but asked Congress to come up with a legislative fix in six months.
Trump had insisted that any legislation saving DACA had to be coupled with funding for his border wall and an overhaul of the legal immigration system.
Democrats and some Republicans balked at those demands.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders is blaming both parties for the failure, saying it’s “absolutely terrible that Congress has failed to act.”