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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid