House Refuses Senate Immigration Bill, Plans Smaller Reform Bills

Washington, D.C. – There was some hope however miniscule that House Republicans might actually allow the Senate’s sweeping immigration reform bill to hit their floor for a vote, but those hopes have been dashed. After long Wednesday meeting, members of the House has decided not allow a vote on the Senate’s bill and will craft their own legislation in piecemeal fashion.

Last week, Speaker Boehner stated he would be meeting with House members this to discuss the fate of immigration reform. That pivotal meeting convened late Wednesday afternoon, with House members coming to the decision that they will sidestep the Senate’s sweeping bill. But they won’t tackle reform in the same manner as the Senate, with a comprehensive bill; instead they will try to conquer the country’s immigration issues with a smaller set of individual bills and they plan on taking their time doing so; don’t expect much movement on reform before September.

In a joint statement, Republican leaders in the House said Americans “don’t trust a Democratic-controlled Washington, and they’re alarmed by the president’s ongoing insistence on enacting a single, massive, Obamacare-like bill rather than pursuing a step-by-step, common-sense approach to actually fix the problem,” USA Today reported.

Republican leaders also said, “House Republicans affirmed that rather than take up the flawed legislation rushed through the Senate, House committees will continue their work on a step-by-step, common-sense approach to fixing what has long been a broken system.”

Reports indicate the House will focus on border security, an employment verification system and an overhaul of the work visa program. However, the fate of the pathway to citizenship, which is criticized as amnesty, remains unclear. Conservatives take issue with the pathway to citizenship, which is actually 13 years long, because they believe it rewards immigrants for unlawful behavior.

Some House members, including Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R. Va.), said that House committees have already worked on a “kids first” provision that might allow legalization of undocumented young people who were brought here by their parents; they are commonly known as DREAMers.

House Conservatives have repeatedly said they would consider offering legal status to some immigrants that would not lead to naturalization. Both Democrats and President Obama reject this idea saying that it creates a permanent underclass of people and doesn’t solve the most pressing immigration problems.

Former Vice President Candidate Paul Ryan (R. Wi.) told his peers that the pathway to citizenship would be a boon to the country’s economy, echoing the results of recent Congressional Budget Office reports.

The CBO reports released over the course of the past two weeks showed that offering citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants would help reduce the federal deficit, extend the solvency of social security, and reduce net illegal immigration by 33 percent to 50 percent.