House Begins to Move on Immigration Reform

Tuesday, 18 Jun 2013 12:43 PM

By Dan Weil

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A House bipartisan group plans to unveil its own long-awaited comprehensive version of an immigration reform bill this week, as the Senate continues debate on its controversial plan that establishes a pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants.

At the same time, however, Politico reports that Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte moved ahead Tuesday with a markup of a measure calling for tougher enforcement of immigration laws.

Latest: Do You Support Giving Illegals Citizenship? Vote Here Now

House Speaker John Boehner also planned to meet Wednesday with the all-Democratic Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss immigration and other issues of particular concern to Hispanic members, signaling even more movement toward what could be a bipartisan effort to get immigration reform though Congress.

A comprehensive, bipartisan bill has been in the works for four years, and Goodlatte said his measure, authored with GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, is not designed to undermine future immigration legislation. Their bill would make it a crime to stay in the United States after a work, student, or tourist visa has expired.

The Virginia Republican insisted he's not trying to criminalize the 11 million undocumented immigrants already here. He assumes their status will be legalized under a future bill. He said he's simply trying to keep future immigrants from coming to the United States illegally.

According to Politico, heavy focus is being put on the gathering Wednesday with Boehner and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, thought to be the first time that a Republican speaker has met with the caucus.

Boehner has privately indicated he wants the House to come up with an immigration reform plan before its August vacation and has sounded optimistic in public about the chances of passage at some point this year.

"He wants to get comprehensive immigration reform; we want to get comprehensive immigration reform passed," Hispanic Caucus Chairman Luis Gutierrez told Politico Monday. "We should form a pact. Let’s cement it this Wednesday."

But not everyone in the House is enthusiastic about immigration reform. California Republican Dana Rohrabacher told World Net Daily Radio that Boehner should be forced out as speaker if he allows a vote on the Senate immigration bill expected to pass that chamber by July Fourth.

“If Boehner moves forward ... he should be removed as Speaker," Rohrabacher said, noting that a majority of Republicans in the House are opposed to the Senate measure.

Latest: Do You Support Giving Illegals Citizenship? Vote Here Now

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