House at Impasse on Immigration Reform

Wednesday, 15 May 2013 10:28 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Immigration reform efforts by a bipartisan group of House lawmakers have come to a standstill as members struggle to compromise on a number of key issues.

The biggest disagreement is centered on whether there should be a so-called "trigger" in place before the path to citizenship for the nation's estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants can begin, Politico reported.

Republicans insist that as a prerequisite of legalization, the government must enhance its employment verification program, E-Verify.

There's also conflict about whether newly documented immigrants should be entitled to state-provided healthcare under Obamacare. And House Republicans have refused to accept a compromise on the number of visas to be issued to low-skilled or guest workers.

Meanwhile, members on both sides of the House also disagree about the timing of the introduction of an immigration reform package.

"I certainly will say that … there still are some outstanding issues in our negotiations," said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra of California. "But I still believe that we're so very close."

But one senior GOP aide told Politico, "We simply won't get jammed by a Senate immigration bill. Even though we'd like to get this issue done and off the table so that we can start aggressively making the case to immigrants that we are their natural home, we won't take a political deal that doesn't solve the problem of illegal immigration. Just won't."



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