President Donald Trump met with Congressional Republicans on Capitol Hill Tuesday to discuss a path forward on various immigration bills — but a solution to the family separation crisis at the border was still far from certain when the meeting wrapped.
While House Republicans plan to vote on two wide-ranging immigration proposals this week, only one of them currently includes a proposal to prevent children from being separated from their parents when apprehended at the border. That bill, a compromise proposal hammered out by House GOP Leadership, is still facing long odds of passage, as every Democrat is expected to vote against it.
On the Senate side, a trio of senators have each introduced standalone bills specifically addressing the family separation crisis, while leaving other controversial immigration issues out. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), an immigration hardliner and one of the lawmakers offering a bill to fix the situation, emphasized that while the "broader debates about immigration... will continue," the scope of his current efforts is much smaller.
"My focus is on solving the specific problem of ensuring that kids stay with their parents," he told VICE News.
But ultimately, the solution to the problem lies with the president. But he’s spent the last week further complicating the issue by offering a series of contradictory statements on the House GOP immigration bills — all while denying any responsibility for the crisis in the first place. (Trump's administration is responsible for introducing the "zero tolerance" policy, which is at the heart of the current crisis on the border.)
On Tuesday, Trump even suggested that the debate over immigration could continue indefinitely.
"We have a House that's getting ready to finalize an immigration package that they're going to brief me on later and that I'm going to make changes to," he said during a speech at the National Federation of Independent Businesses. "We have one chance to get it right. We might as well get it right or let's just keep it going.”