WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJZ) — The battle for immigration reform hit a roadblock Thursday after lawmakers failed to pass one of two bills that, in part, addresses the issue of family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The House of Representatives rejected one of two GOP bills aimed at solving family separations at the border and other immigration policy. The fate of what’s known as the compromise bill has been delayed until Friday, if not later.
“Even if something doesn’t necessarily pass, I think we’re making advancements ’cause we’re putting ideas on the table,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said.
As it stands under the law, families can only be detained together for 20 days, meaning even with President Donald Trump signing an executive order to stop family separations, the clock is ticking — especially with the “zero tolerance” policy still in place.
First lady Melanie Trump toured one of the centers in Texas where migrant children are being kept.
“We all know they are here without their families and I want to thank you for your hard work, your compassion,” Mrs. Trump said.
A senior Trump administration official said about 500 of the more than 2,000 children separated from their families at the border have been reunited since May.
Pressure from protestors still grows daily. Demonstrators met near the White House Thursday night, lashing out at the president.
One display included children wrapped in mylar blankets inside the U.S. Capitol.
For some of the protestors, the situation unfolding at the border is personal.
Henry Lopez immigrated to the U.S. 18 years ago.
“Seeing these children brought me flashbacks when I came to this country with my parents seeing a better future,” Lopez said.
This mother, like others, demand to know what will happen to the more than 2,000 children that have already been separated from their parents.
“My kids are kids of an immigrant, my husband is an immigrant. It could have been them,” protester Kayce Compton said.