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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid