House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., opposes the idea of putting illegal immigrants on the road to citizenship.
That view is important given that his committee handles immigration issues in the House.
"People have a pathway to citizenship right now,” Goodlatte told NPR in an interview
aired Thursday. “It's to abide by the immigration laws, and if they have a family relationship, if they have a job skill that allows them to do that, they can obtain citizenship."
Then comes the kicker: “But simply someone who broke the law, came here, [to] say, 'I'll give you citizenship now,' that I don't think is going to happen."
Goodlatte also expressed displeasure with the White House decision to form its own immigration plan in case Congress fails to produce one of its own. "I think the president should calm down, back off, and let Congress do its work."
To be sure, Goodlatte still supports immigration reform, particularly a larger guest-worker program for agricultural workers. "You're going to have to have a program that assures those farms and those processing plants that there will be workers," he said.
The bipartisan Group of Eight senators working on immigration and President Barack Obama favor a path to citizenship.
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