New immigration bill is a down payment on merit-based system: Goodlatte

The House is expected to vote on two alternative immigration bills on Thursday as lawmakers work to address both child separation and securing the border, House Judiciary Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte told FOX Business on Wednesday.

“The U.S. is the most generous country in the world for legal immigration,” Goodlatte said to Melissa Francis on “After the Bell.” “We give over 1.1 million green cards a year to people to come live here permanently. It doesn’t surprise me that millions more people want to come, they just can’t all come.”

Among the two immigration proposals up for debate; the more conservative bill “Goodlatte Number One” and the so-called “Compromise Bill” -- each crafted by Congressman Goodlatte -- and both include a policy to boost funds for detention centers, solve the DACA problem, fund the border wall and ends family separation.

“If the charge against the parent is simply illegal entry into the United States, which is a misdemeanor, we think their children should be kept with them while they’re waiting for that charge to be heard,” Goodlatte said.

And while Goodlatte says there's support for both pieces of legislation, he thinks the second bill has the prospect of getting the 218 votes needed.

“The second bill does more in terms of addressing the DACA population, not in terms of expanding that population but the original folks who are entitled to apply under the Obama Administration. All dreamers will get to apply, not just the ones who actually signed up.”

Goodlatte added, “This bill could be a down payment on moving towards a merit-based system overall.”

Thursdays vote comes one day after President’s Trump signed an executive order to keep families together at the border.