House approaches immigration piece by piece
WASHINGTON — House Republicans will tackle the immigration issue in bite-size pieces, shunning pressure to act quickly and rejecting the comprehensive approach embraced in the Senate and endorsed by President Obama, a key committee chairman said on Thursday.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., declined to commit to finishing immigration legislation this year, as Obama and a bipartisan group in the Senate want to do.
He said bills on an agriculture worker program and workplace enforcement would come first, and he said there'd been no decision on how to deal with legalization or a possible path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants living here illegally, a centerpiece of a new bipartisan bill in the Senate.
“It is not whether you do it fast or slow, it is that you get it right that's most important,” Goodlatte said at a press conference to announce the way forward on immigration in the House.
He said that while he hopes to produce a bill this year, “I'm going to be very cautious about setting any kind of arbitrary limits on when this has to be done.”
The approach Goodlatte sketched out was not a surprise, but it was a sign of the obstacles ahead of congressional passage of the kind of far-reaching immigration legislation sought by Obama and introduced last week in the Senate by four Republican and four Democratic lawmakers.
Many in the conservative-led House don't have the appetite for a single, big bill on immigration, especially not one that contains a path to citizenship, still viewed by some as amnesty.
Instead they prefer to coalesce around consensus issues like border security, temporary workers and workplace enforcement.
But if the Senate's comprehensive approach faces obstacles in the House, the House's piecemeal approach won't fly in the Senate.
Two of the lead authors of the Senate bill, Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and John McCain, R-Ariz., rejected the piece-by-piece approach at a breakfast meeting with reporters Thursday hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.
Schumer and McCain said that any time an immigration issue is advanced individually, even something widely supported like visas for high-tech workers or a citizenship path for those brought as children, lawmakers and interest groups start pushing for other issues to get dealt with at the same time.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hungry bears push into Denver area
- Boeing names next space fleet
- California wildfires impede holiday fun
- Top Dem on panel says he’ll oppose Obama’s nuke deal
- Exploration of sunken German U-boat shown online
- Charter schools unconstitutional, Washington state’s top court rules
- Video footage expected to aid in hunt for 3 sought in shooting of Illinois police officer
- Rock threatens base of Arizona dam
- Bidens remain unsure of readiness for campaign
- Gay couple receives marriage license from controversial Ky. clerk’s office
- Kentucky county clerk Davis jailed for stand on same-sex marriage licenses