Congress should tackle immigration reform "step by step," rather than through the Senate's "Gang of Eight" comprehensive approach, Sen. Mike Lee said Monday.
Immigration reform stalled in the House since the passage of the Senate's bipartisan "Gang of Eight" bill in 2012. Conservative House members have voiced concern about passing a comprehensive plan of reforms without first securing U.S. borders.
House Speaker John Boehner criticized conservative members opposing reforms in a speech to an Ohio Rotary Club on April 24. He offered a sarcastic rebuke of opponents of immigration reform, and described lawmakers as shying away from a vote on it because it was "too hard."
Lee told "Fox & Friends" he thought many members of the House would support a plan that addressed reforms in separate components.
"I think most members of [Boehner's] Republican conference in the House would be willing, and, in fact, eager to pass some sort of immigration reform. But, it needs to be broken up. It needs to be taken step by step. One step at a time," the Utah Republican said.
The reason why some Republicans in the House opposed the plan supported by Boehner, an Ohio Republican, was because they felt the speaker was trying to tell them how to vote, Lee said.
"They're being told, 'Look, you've got to pass all of this Gang of Eight immigration bill, all 1,200 pages of it, or you've got to pass nothing.' People don't like to be told that, because it's not a good way to go," he said.
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