WASHINGTON, June 27 (Xinhua) -- U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday defeated second Republican-drafted immigration bill despite President Donald Trump's last-minute plea and amid chaos over reunion of separated families who illegally cross the U.S. border.
The vote failed worse than expected, with 121 votes in favor and 301 against. The opposition was from all Democrats and 112 Republicans. Two Republicans did not cast votes on Wednesday.
Hours before the vote, Trump made the last-minute push for the legislation on Twitter.
"House Republicans should pass the strong but fair immigration bill, known as goodlatte II, in their afternoon vote today, even though the Dems won't let it pass in the Senate." Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning.
"Passage will show that we want strong borders & security while the Dems want open borders = crime. Win!" the president tweeted.
However, the second bill, a so-called "moderate" or "comprise" one, won much less Republican votes than the "hardline" bill which failed last week in the House with 193 in favor and 231 against.
Following the failure of the "hardline" bill, House Republican leaders twice delayed the second voting, in hope that Republicans, given more time, would modify the bill again so as to secure 218 votes to pass the legislation.
The failed "hardline" bill would have provided funding for a border wall, ended the diversity visa lottery program, limited family-based visas, created an agriculture guest worker program requiring employers to use the E-Verify program and allowed for the federal government to cut funding for sanctuary cities. Every Democrat and 41 Republicans voted against it.
Under the "moderate" or "compromise" bill, the Donald Trump government would have stopped the forced migrant family separation, got 25 billion dollars to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and allowed up to 1.8 million Dreamers, the recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, to apply for U.S. citizenship.
Both bills were backed by the White House, whose "zero tolerance" policy against illegal immigration has come under fire home and abroad over the forced separation of children from their parents entering the United States illegally.