News / USA

House Republicans Reject 'Massive' Immigration Bill

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., speaks with reporters after House Republicans worked on an approach to immigration reform in a closed-door meeting, July 10, 2013.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., speaks with reporters after House Republicans worked on an approach to immigration reform in a closed-door meeting, July 10, 2013.
Cindy Saine
Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives are rejecting the sweeping immigration reform bill passed in the Senate.  Leaders of the Republican majority say they plan to take a step-by-step approach aimed at slowing momentum toward reform that would provide legal status for the estimated 11 million people now living in the United States illegally.  

Members of the majority Republican conference in the House of Representatives met with their leaders late Wednesday to discuss how to react to comprehensive immigration reform passed last month in the Senate.  Republican leaders in the House agree with Democrats that the U.S. immigration system is broken, but they said in a statement that they reject a single, massive "Obamacare-like" bill.  Republican House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte told reporters the House plans to:

"Take a step-by-step, careful approach, holding hearings and examining and marking up individual bills so that we do not make the same mistakes made in 1986," said Goodlatte.

In 1986, then-president Ronald Reagan, a Republican, signed a bill granting amnesty to 3 million people.  Chairman Goodlatte said Republican lawmakers are concerned the same thing could happen with the Senate bill, and they want to see border security and internal regulations enforced before any action is taken on legalizing immigrants already here without documents.  Republican Representative Michele Bachmann strongly rejected Democratic demands for a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

"The only thing we are supporting right now is to actually build the fence," said Bachmann.

Earlier in the day, about 500 young immigrants and their parents gathered outside the U.S. Capitol to hold a mock citizenship ceremony to declare they are ready to be recognized as Americans.  Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez called on House Republicans to seize the moment.  He said that with the help of Democratic votes, the House could easily get the 218 votes needed to pass immigration reform.

"And we say to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives let the people's will be heard.  You know and I know that 218 votes exist for comprehensive immigration reform, and all we ask you is for five minutes on the floor of the House," said Gutierrez.

Lorella Praeli, who now lives in Washington and comes from Peru, said Hispanic voters are watching closely to see what Republicans do on the issue.

"So I think that they have an opportunity here to decide whether or not they want to be a party of the future or a party of the past," said Praeli.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lost in 2012 to Democratic President Barack Obama by a margin of 27 to 71 percent among Hispanics.  But analysts say many House members come from solidly, mostly white Republican districts, and are more concerned about holding their own seats rather than the next presidential election.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid