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GOP rep calls Goodlatte immigration proposal the ‘#BannonBill’

Greg Nash

Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) lashed out Friday at the Republican immigration proposal at the center of an agreement that allowed the House to pass a spending bill.

Curbelo, a vocal proponent of immigration reform and a fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, said on Twitter the bill introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) “reads as if it was drafted by [former White House chief strategist] Steve Bannon.”

In his tweet, Curbelo said the bill “is deeply flawed, provides an insufficient solution for those in the #DACA program & threatens to destroy American agriculture. NO to the #BannonBill.”

Goodlatte, along with Reps. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) earlier this month introduced the proposal, which was labeled a nonstarter by Curbelo and other pro-immigration lawmakers.

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But the enforcement-heavy proposal was embraced by the conservative Freedom Caucus, which cut a deal with Republican leadership Thursday to vote for a continuing resolution to keep the government open in exchange for help in whipping the Goodlatte bill and a vote on defense spending.

The short-term funding bill passed the House but is stuck in the Senate where the DACA debate has intensified.

Unlike other proposals to replace DACA, which allows immigrants who arrived in the country as minors to live and work in the U.S., the Goodlatte bill doesn’t provide a special path to citizenship for beneficiaries, is restricted to only DACA recipients and has a host of measures to penalize the hiring of undocumented workers.

Its proponents say those measures are necessary to prevent further waves of illegal immigration.

Opponents say it’s heavy-handed on enforcement, doesn’t provide solutions for businesses short on domestic labor and fails to provide an adequate solution for so-called Dreamers.

Bannon was ousted from the White House in August and has been at the center of controversy following comments he made in the controversial bestseller “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.” 

Curbelo is one of the more vulnerable members of the House in the 2018 midterm elections. He won reelection in 2016, but his district went for Hillary Clinton in the presidential election by more than 16 points.

Tags Bob Goodlatte Carlos Curbelo DACA Hillary Clinton Immigration Martha McSally Michael McCaul Shutdown Steve Bannon

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