News from the House regarding progress with immigration came recently as GOP leaders met and Speaker John Boehner reaffirmed his belief in taking “bite-sized chunks” of the bill to allow members and Americans to decide what the smartest way to go is.
Despite growing pressure from Democrats, Republicans clearly do not have agreement over including a path to citizenship. After a two hour conference, lawmakers came out very divided over the issue. Some of the conflicts are created with the bill treating every immigrant equally. Rep. Darrel Issa of California says this should not be so. “There are people who should remain here, people that we all agree should be removed, criminal aliens, people who have committed crimes and so on…” The bill creates an equal opportunity for citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. and does not particularly identify their backgrounds or intentions for being in the U.S. Other lawmakers believe that legalization will end up destroying the rule of law. “You can never reestablish the rule of law in this country, at least with regard to immigration, again” says Rep. Steve King of Iowa.
Although the Senate is not showing to be overly concerned about the House’s choices and are remaining positive and hopeful that immigration will once and for all be taken care of, several members such as Nancy Pelosi did speak of the importance of time. Boehner responded to the urging with “I’m more concerned about doing it right than I am of meeting some deadline.” But if the bill does not meet a certain deadline, this may have detrimental effects for immigrants. Rep. Raul Grijalva acknowledges concerns of opposing groups urging the House to stop it from passing. Many groups do not believe militarizing the border will create a better situation and Grijalva agrees. This is a “golden opportunity” for families to live without fear of deportation, split families and children left in foster care. There are other ways to secure the U.S. such as implementing E-Verify rather than arming troops at the border. A compromise that is much needed for both sides of Congress would create more complex and lasting solutions rather than rewriting the bill.
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