July 11, 2013
The caucus rejected the Senate immigration bill and opted to draft their own legislation at their leisure. Observers speculate that no action will come until late this year or early next year.
The majority of the Republican House members want to approach immigration in a series of small bills on specific provisions, rather than one comprehensive immigration reform bill.
House Speaker John Boehner still insists that no immigration bill will be brought to the floor unless it has the backing of a majority of Republican members. That rules out a vote on the recently passed Senate immigration bill. The Republicans hold a 234 to 201 majority in the House.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sent a letter to Boehner stating the position of the Democrats. From the letter:
House Democrats’ priorities for immigration reform are the principles laid out by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, with commitments to secure our borders, protect our workers, unite our families, and provide an earned pathway to citizenship. Each of these elements has bipartisan support.
. . . Mr. Speaker: if you decide to take up various elements of comprehensive immigration reform under separate votes, it is essential to remember that those key elements are interconnected and necessary for reform.
Democrats remain hopeful that the House can pass legislation worthy of our best traditions and history. We are ready to act in a bipartisan fashion to get the job done, to afford all immigrants a fair shot at the American Dream, and to make comprehensive immigration reform the law of the land.CNN quoted Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who probably summed up the Republican House members the best:
. . . the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said Wednesday that Republicans were "splintered and confused" on immigration, describing what he called a "deeply divided party" that was "much more into ideology than they are into solving problems."House Budget Committee Chair, Paul Ryan (R-WI) said that "doing nothing was not an option."
He has been meeting with immigration advocate Rep Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and the team of 7 bipartisan House members, who continue to work on a House comprehensive immigration reform bill.
Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) is said to be on a mission to kill immigration reform. She's all for building a fence along the southern border, and against giving "legal status to immigrants who entered the States illegally."
Bachmann's fellow Tea Party member, Steve King (R-IA) is another member who is vocally opposed to "legalizing" undocumented immigrants.
Meanwhile, former President George W. Bush has weighed in to support comprehensive immigration reform. From The Washington Post:
“I do hope there is a positive resolution to the debate,” Bush said Wednesday at a naturalization ceremony for 20 people from 12 countries at his presidential library in Dallas. “And I hope during the debate that we keep a benevolent spirit in mind, and we understand the contributions immigrants make to our country. . . . At its core, immigration is a sign of a confident and successful nation.”The bottom line is that the legal, longterm nonresidents of the CNMI have a much better chance of obtaining their well-deserved status through an amendment to PL 110-229.