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

Conflicts Engulf Christians in the Middle East

Research finds an increase in faith-based hostilities, and Christians are facing persecution in a growing number of countries in the region More

Chinese Americans: Don’t Call Us 'Model Minority'

Label points to collective achievement, but some say it triggers resentment, unrealistic expectations More

Iran Bolsters Surveillance of Phones, Internet

Does increased monitoring suggest the government is nervous? More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid