News / USA

House Republicans Reject Push for Immigration Overhaul

House Republicans Reject Push for Immigration Overhauli
X
July 11, 2013 11:04 PM
House Republicans are rejecting the push by President Barack Obama and the Senate to pass comprehensive immigration reform that would provide legal status and a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people living in the country illegally. Republican leaders are advocating a step-by-step approach focusing first on border security and enforcement of immigration laws. Young Hispanic immigrants say Republicans will pay a price with Latino voters if they fail to pass substantial reform. VOA’s Cindy Saine has the story from Capitol Hill.
Cindy Saine
— House Republicans are rejecting the push by President Barack Obama and the Senate to pass comprehensive immigration reform that would provide legal status and a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people living in the country illegally.  Republican leaders are advocating a step-by-step approach focusing first on border security and enforcement of immigration laws. Young Hispanic immigrants say Republicans will pay a price with Latino voters if they fail to pass substantial reform.

Outside the U.S. Capitol, some 500 young Hispanic immigrants held a mock citizenship ceremony to send a message to House Republicans that they want to be recognized as Americans.

Inside, Republican leaders rejected calls for an immigration reform bill like the one passed in the Senate last month.  House Speaker John Boehner said Republicans know the current system is broken, but they reject a single, massive bill.

“A vast majority of our members do believe that we have to wrestle with this problem.  They also believe that we need to do this step-by-step, common sense approach," said Boehner.

Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez stood with the demonstrators. He and other Democrats say it would be easy to pass the major overhaul if Republicans would allow a vote.  

"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, at the mock citizenship rally, issued this challenge.

“The choice is yours, Speaker Boehner. You can bring your party to the evolving America or you can relegate your party to the past," said Praeli.

In the 2012 election, President Obama won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote, while Republican challenger Mitt Romney only won 27 percent. That's not sustainable for Republicans, says historian Allan Lichtman.

“This immigration debate is really the first opportunity for Republicans to demonstrate that, yes, we understand the issues that are of concern to Hispanics in America and we are willing to respond.  We are not hard-hearted and cold people in our party," said Lichtman.
 
Some Republicans reject any call for a path to citizenship or legalization.  Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann:

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

Republican leaders plan to focus first on border control and visa enforcement. They say it is more important that Congress gets it right rather than fast.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid