GOP lawmakers hope immigration plan will pass House this week

Kristopher Coca yells during a protest outside the U.S. Border Patrol Central Processing Center Saturday, June 23, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

WASHINGTON (SBG) - Over the weekend, protesters called out for justice along the U.S.-Mexico border. Many lawmakers spent the weekend touring tent cities and other immigration facilities and searching for answers about what to do next.

“A number of border agents told us, we asked them what should be done. They said we need immigration reform,” said Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., in McAllen, Texas.

But what exactly that looks like is still being hammered out, with many Republicans hoping to pass the Trump administration’s "four pillars" immigration plan. It includes ending the diversity visa lottery program, severely limiting family-based or “chain” migration, and providing a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers – those brought to the U.S. illegally as children. It also includes about $25 billion for a border wall.

“Congress needs to act to close the legal loopholes that incentivize the coyotes to bring these children into the United States,” said Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, on “Fox News Sunday.”

McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, also said he hopes to officially end the family separation policy.

“I'm a father of five. I think this is inhumane. And I think the pictures that we have seen, that's not the face of America I think that most people in this country want," McCaul said.

For those seeking asylum, there was a push from Sen. Bill Nelson, R-Fla., for U.S. officials to abide by current laws.

“The law is that if you are fleeing persecution, we have always given a person a fair hearing as to whether or not that’s accurate. That’s what America has stood for forever,” Nelson said in an interview Monday.

This week is already shaping up to be one that puts immigration center stage with a battle unfolding not only between Democrats and Republicans, but also within the Republican Party itself.

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