Diaz-Balart: No Amnesty in House Immigration Bill

Image: Diaz-Balart: No Amnesty in House Immigration Bill U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla.

Friday, 05 Apr 2013 11:22 AM

By David Yonkman, Washington Correspondent

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The Senate immigration bill scheduled for release next week will likely be at odds with a version coming from the House, according to a key congressman who says granting amnesty to undocumented workers won’t be included in any House measure.

“Clearly, amnesty is not going to fly in the House,” Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart told Newsmax.

But the Florida Republican, who has been a participant in bipartisan talks on immigration reform since 2009, said there needs to be some system short of amnesty that confers a level of legal status for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in the United States.

Robbed:
Secret ‘Financial War’ Will Wipe Out Your Wealth, Warns Pentagon Adviser

“I think it’s devastating to have people who are permanently here who can never aspire to be a citizen,” he said. “It’s also unacceptable to give folks who are here unlawfully specific rights that those who have done everything by the law wouldn’t have.”

A key bipartisan group of eight senators had hoped to roll out a bill when Congress returns from its spring break Monday. But a dispute between business and labor over the number of visas available for low-skilled workers has become the latest sticking point that could delay it. The Senate version is expected to include some kind of pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

Passing an immigration reform bill would put an issue that has long dogged the Republican Party behind it, but it won’t shift Hispanic voters to the GOP overnight, Diaz-Balart said.

“I think it would be very naïve for people to think that if we pass this that the Republican brand name would be automatically fixed among Hispanics,” he said. “If we get it done, Republicans can start talking about the issues that matter to Hispanics like education and economic opportunity.”

Attracting Hispanic voters has taken on an urgency for Republicans since President Barack Obama won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote last year on his way to a second term.

Diaz-Balart told Newsmax he doesn’t expect an immigration bill to be delivered by the Senate next week and warned that if reform efforts fail this year, it would likely be four more years before Congress makes another try.

Both Republicans and Democrats, he said, have a lot to lose if they allow this year's opportunity to pass.

“It’s a disastrous issue that we have to get fixed from a Republican angle because we’ll get the blame if it fails, and it will be used as a sledgehammer against us regardless of what the facts are,” he said. “With Democrats in the House, there is a lot of pressure because they’ve been talking about it forever and haven’t delivered.”

Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte on Thursday floated the possibility of a step-by-step approach to immigration reform instead of trying to hammer out a big, comprehensive package of reforms, Roll Call reported.

Diaz-Balart said regardless of the approach, the goal should still be the same — producing a bill that "fixes what's broken."

"We're really far along, but we’re not done yet,” he said of the proposals being kicked around in both the Senate and the House. But he added, "There’s a big difference between having a conceptual agreement and having legislative language.”

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Sen. Johnson: Obama Handicapped Effort to Build Coalition

Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 13:34 PM

When President Barack Obama took "certain actions off the table' in his speech about U.S. plans to combat the Islamic St . . .

Leonardo DiCaprio Named UN Messenger of Peace

Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 13:33 PM

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Leonardo DiCaprio as a United Nations Messenger of Peace to help promote glo . . .

Sen. Coats: US Needs 'Clarity,' Support in ISIS Fight

Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 13:13 PM

Republicans question how President Obama's campaign against the Islamic State will succeed, since his administration has . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved