Critical House GOP Meeting
Today at 3:00 p.m., the House Republican conference will meet to discuss the future of immigration reform. The prospects for comprehensive immigration reform—including some sort of path to citizenship for the 11 million-plus illegal immigrants—very likely hinges on this meeting.
While there is broad agreement within the House GOP that certain changes to the immigration system are necessary, such as increased border security, improved e-verify technology, and fixes to the legal immigration process, deep divisions still remain over the question of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
The House Republican conference also seems unified in the decision to eschew the recently passed Senate bill and move ahead with their own piecemeal approach.
So far, the House Judiciary Committee, headed by Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), has passed bills addressing issues, such as interior enforcement, employment screening, short-term agricultural laborers, and high-skilled workers. Goodlatte’s committee, however, has considered no legislation dealing with the undocumented community.
The division on the question of a path to citizenship is a deep one. There are some in the House GOP who support a path to citizenship, some who only support a path after certain border security benchmarks have been met, and there is a group that opposes any path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
The staunchest opponents of a path to citizenship have been quietly meeting for months in the offices of outspoken immigration reform opponent Rep. Steve King (R-IA). This group, which includes ultra-conservative members like Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), plans to try to “stack the deck” with speakers opposed to comprehensive immigration reform at today’s GOP meeting.
Meanwhile, GOP supporters of comprehensive immigration reform in the House continue to huddle with their Democratic colleagues in the so-called “Group of 7.” The bipartisan group continues to work towards releasing a comprehensive plan for immigration reform, though the effort is behind schedule. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), one of the group members, said, “It’s taken longer than I wish it had, by the way. But the good news is we’re making great progress.”
Today’s GOP conference meeting could last well into this evening. We will release a comprehensive review of what comes out of the meeting and what it means for the future of immigration reform later this week.
You are welcome to reach out to McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies for more information regarding immigration reform, how it may impact you and what you can do about it.
Steven C. LaTourette, President | 202.559.2600
McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies LLC
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