Boehner: Border Security Must Come Before Path to Citizenship

Monday, 08 Jul 2013 06:55 PM

By Andrea Billups

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House Speaker John Boehner doubled down on border security Monday, saying he believes it must be in place before a debate on specifics of a path to citizenship.

Boehner will hold a meeting of the House Republican Conference Wednesday to discuss immigration reform legislation. A vote on a House immigration bill could come before it recesses in August.

"The House is going to do its own job on developing an immigration bill," Boehner reiterated after a student loans event at the Capitol, The Hill reported.

"But it's real clear, from everything that I've seen and read over the last couple of weeks, that the American people expect that we’ll have strong border security in place before we begin the process of legalizing and fixing our legal immigration system," Boehner said.

The Senate passed its own sweeping immigration measure last month, but where the issue goes in the House is up for grabs. Some House Republicans face opposition from not only Democrats but a bipartisan majority who has agreed with the Senate measure. Details on a path to citizenship have divided House Republicans and the bipartisan majority there.

An analysis of the Senate bill by the Congressional Budget Office suggests it will increase immigrant populations in the country over the next 20 years by 15 million more than currently allowed by law. Further specifics of the law's implications are still being sorted out.

On Monday, a conservative group said it would launch ads in support of the Senate version of immigration reforms legislation, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The ads from the American Action Network hope to sway Boehner and others in the House who may be on the fence on an issue that not only continues to polarize Washington, but the nation. "This is the tough border security American needs," the ad says.

Boehner, however, said he had no plans to take up a measure in the House that is similar to the Senate. Whatever bill emerges in the House must have the support of a Republican majority to come to a vote, he said.


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