NJ Politics Digest: Where State’s House Members Stand on Forcing Immigration Vote

Rep. Leonard Lance and the seven Democrats from New Jersey in the House of Representatives have signed a petition to force a vote on measures addressing the fate of young immigrants.

Leonard Lance.
Leonard Lance. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP/Getty Images

Republican Rep. Leonard Lance and the seven Democrats from New Jersey in the House of Representatives have signed a petition to force a vote on measures addressing the fate of young immigrants who were brought to this country illegally as children.

So far, the petition has garnered 213 of the 218 signatures needed to force a vote, despite House Speaker Paul Ryan’s objections to the plan, according to a report on NJ.com.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer, who represents the 5th district, was the last Democrat to sign on. Gottheimer, a co-chair of the bi-partisan Problem Solvers Caucus, had waited to see if the group could work out a compromise. But those attempts failed to produce a solution, so Gottheimer, as well as Republican co-chair Rep. Tom Reed of New York, and three other members of the caucus signed the petition, according to the report.

Ryan, who has announced he will not seek re-election, has vigorously opposed the discharge petition. The momentum building behind the measure has called into question the veteran Republican’s ability to lead the house as a lame duck representative.

If the petition gets enough signatures, the house would vote on four competing bills to address the fate of the young immigrants, known as Dreamers.

While a coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans could muster enough votes to pass one of the bills, Ryan has said it will likely die in the Senate.

President Donald Trump, who in September announced he was ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that had provided protections for the young immigrants, has also said he would not sign the house bill unless it contained measures to provide strong border security and to build a wall along the Mexican border.
Approximately 17,400 dreamers live in New Jersey, according to NJ.com.

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