Immigration divisions thicken between House and Senate

Published on: Jul 11, 2013

House Republicans on Wednesday came down overwhelmingly against a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws. As the House lags in its action, the legislative calendar may fill up by this fall which could create additional hurdles in passage this year.

One of the main components of the Senate's approved comprehensive immigration reform bill calls for a pathway to citizenship for the nearly 11 million undocumented workers. The compromise devised between the farm labor unions and agribusinesses maintained that a pathway to citizenship is a must for support.

House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) in his weekly address Thursday said of the today's undocumented workers, 40% came here legally but there is not a good legal way to track them today.

Boehner said the Senate's bill in his view is "flawed" and he doesn't believe the bill triggers border security measures appropriately. He supports the House's "bite-size chunk" approach taken by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) and added he would do whatever he could to facilitate a process to move the immigration discussion forward.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said she is "respectful" of any way to bring to the floor in parts or in whole immigration reforms. She remains "ever optimistic" this year will bring immigration reform, and added "we really should get moving on it and see where there are areas of agreement to go to conference [with the Senate] and have further discussion."