Members of a growing coalition of House conservatives say they can't support a bipartisan comprehensive immigration-reform bill in the Senate just to win over Hispanic voters.
"You don't sacrifice your principles for political expediency," said Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama. "The Hispanics that I know in my community, they want people who understand the importance of the rule of law."
Brooks spoke at a Capitol Hill press conference on Tuesday with five other conservative House members who say they want their voice heard in the debate on immigration, and to stall any momentum that the Senate bill might be gaining.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently marking up a sprawling 844-page bill introduced by a bipartisan group of eight senators, and House leaders have publicly indicated that they are approaching the issue through several smaller bills.
"There's another viewpoint here," said Rep. Steve King, who recently told Newsmax that he would not seek the Republican nomination for the Senate in Iowa to focus on immigration in the House. "It's not the one being stampeded in the Senate, and likely stampeded in the House."
King said that unlike Obamacare — which the House will vote on repealing this week despite its weak chances of success in the Senate — granting amnesty to the estimated 11 million immigrants currently in the United States cannot be undone in the future.
"If this amnesty goes through there's no undoing it, the genie is out of the bottle," King said.
Brooks, King, and other members attending the press conference said that they are opposed to the Senate bill largely because they believe it grants amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, costs trillions of dollars, and does not sufficiently address border security.
"I believe we need to tear this thing up and start from the beginning," said Rep. John Fleming of Louisiana. "This bill is full of promises and contingencies when in fact we're not properly enforcing the laws that we have today."
The other members of the group at the press conference were Reps. Steve Stockman and Louis Gohmert of Texas and Paul Gosar of Arizona.
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