Republicans in Congress Split Over How to Handle Immigration

Friday, 30 Nov 2012 04:05 PM

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Most Republican congressmen agree that the party needs to soften its stance on immigration, but they have differing views over how to do it.

The impetus to act was the party’s poor performance among Hispanics in the election, with President Barack Obama creaming Mitt Romney 71 to 27 percent in that demographic.

But GOP legislators see different solutions, Politico reports. Some want a comprehensive immigration bill that addresses all the issues. Others want smaller bills for popular items like increasing work visas. Thornier issues could then be dealt with later, such as whether illegal immigrants should be eligible for citizenship.

Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador favors the piecemeal approach. “Doing a comprehensive bill is a big mistake,” he told Politico. “What you end up having is a bill that nobody likes. Everybody hates one piece of it. It’s a way to actually avoid doing what we need to do to solve the immigration problem.”

But Arizona Sen. John McCain, a veteran of immigration reform efforts, disagrees. “I think comprehensive is the best way,” he said, according to Politico. “Include everything.”

Meanwhile, the divide between Republicans and Democrats over immigration was put in sharp relief by the House’s passage Friday, mostly along party lines, of a Republican-sponsored bill to increase visas for foreign nationals who earn advanced degrees in the United States for science, technology, engineering, and math.

The STEM Jobs Act probably won’t even be considered by the Senate, and the White House has expressed opposition.


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