House Conservatives Plan Narrower Immigration Reforms

Friday, 26 Apr 2013 02:54 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Conservative Republicans in the House are planning to tackle immigration through a series of small measures that is leading to fears for the future of a comprehensive overhaul.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte plans to plot a less ambitious course than that put forward by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” senators, The Washington Post reported.

“This process can be long, but it allows every representative and senator to have their constituents’ voices heard,” Goodlatte said. “And by taking a fine-toothed comb through each of the individual issues within the larger immigration debate, it will help us get a better bill that will benefit Americans and provide a workable immigration system.”

This decision reflects the divide among Republicans on immigration reform. The Virginia Republican worked as an immigration attorney before entering Congress in 1993 and does not support a pathway to citizenship. His reforms are expected to reflect a more conservative position than the senators’.

This could pose a problem for House Speaker John Boehner who will have to balance the immigration views of both the conservative and more moderate wings of the GOP, the Post predicted.

Democrats are concerned that bills introduced in the House could derail efforts in the Senate to pass a broader immigration bill.

A bipartisan group in the House is working on a comprehensive immigration proposal similar to the one in the Senate that would include a 13-of the year path to citizenship.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, one of the co-authors of the Senate immigration bill, said he would look at Goodlatte’s proposals to see if it offers anything that he can incorporate in the Senate’s proposal.

Obama addressed the immigration efforts at the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on Thursday.

“Even though comprehensive immigration reform has taken a little longer than any of us expected,” Obama said, “I am hopeful that this year, with the help of Speaker Boehner and some of the senators and members of Congress who are here today, that we bring it home for our families and our economy and our security.”

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