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House Leaders Plan to Take Different Approach on Immigration


House Speaker John Boehner has made it clear the Senate-passed immigration bill has no chance of passage in the House. He has also stated he won’t bring any immigration legislation to the House floor that doesn’t have the support of a majority of Republican members. Last week (week of July 8) – House Republicans started mapping out their own slower, piecemeal approach to immigration and border security legislation at a closed-door meeting. Following the meeting – House Republican leaders issued a statement suggesting Americans are alarmed at the President’s insistence on enacting on, big Obamacare-like bill instead of pursuing a step-by-step, commonsense approach to actually fix the problem. They want to pass smaller pieces of legislation that deal with individual problems.

The House is expected to deal with legislation on border security, worker verification systems and temporary visas for high-skilled workers. There’s no agreement on how to address – if at all – a pathway to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants living in America. Some Republicans emerged from the meeting with ideas of handling different pools of undocumented immigrants in different ways. For instance – giving those who were brought here illegally as children the ability to apply for citizenship while serious criminals face immediate deportation. Those in the middle – according to California Representative Darrell Issa – could be given long-term visas that would allow them to live and work in the country but require them to go back to their home countries for some time.

Those ideas have been opposed by Democrats. In fact – they’ve said they won’t support any immigration effort that doesn’t include a pathway to citizenship. Senior Democrats in the House have also said they’ll resist a piecemeal approach.