House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH,8)
told reporters Wednesday that House Republicans "have no intention of
ever going to conference" on the bipartisan immigration bill the Senate
passed in June.
The speaker's comments come a few days after
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA,23) told a group of activists in his state that immigration reform would not see a floor vote
before the year ends.
Last month, House Democrats introduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill that mirrors the Senate measure and would create a pathway to citizenship for America’s more than 11 million undocumented immigrants.
But Boehner on Wednesday reiterated that he
wants to see the House take up immigration reform in a piecemeal
fashion, rather than one large, comprehensive measure.
understand something: I want us to deal with this issue,” he said. “But
I want to deal with it in a common-sense, step-by-step way.”
reform supporters had hoped that passing immigration measures "step-by-step" in the House would eventually lead to possible negotiations
over the Senate's measure.
U.S. Rep. Mario
Diaz-Balart (R-FL,25), who has been working to craft immigration bills in the House, called on Boehner to rethink his position about
an immigration reform conference.
“I urge Speaker Boehner to remain open to any options that allow us to solve this crucial issue,” he said, according to Politico.
“It has been said time and time again that our immigration system is
broken, and we must come together to find a sensible solution to fix
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights issued the following statement in response to Boehner's comments:
year ago, right after immigrant voters swung heavily toward the
Democrats in the November 2012 elections, Speaker Boehner pledged to
move forward on immigration reform. The Speaker and his House
leadership colleagues have had a year to pass legislation. The Senate
has already passed a bill that includes a path to citizenship. A
majority of House members support a comprehensive bill. Yet Speaker
Boehner cannot get the job done, and has now given up for the year.
day that Speaker Boehner wrings his hands in failure, 1,100 more
immigrants get deported, leaving behind US citizen spouses and children
in broken families. Immigrant voters will remember the damage that
Speaker Boehner’s lack of leadership has inflicted on their families and
communities. Instead of learning the lessons of the 2012 elections,
Speaker Boehner and his GOP colleagues will need to be taught again that
their failure has a price.
If Republicans keep failing to
fix our immigration system, they will continue to alienate the Latino,
Asian, and immigrant communities who voted in record numbers in November
2012. The party lost four congressional seats, including three
freshmen and 14-year incumbent U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert. They narrowly
avoided losing the seat currently held by Congressman Rodney Davis, who
won by only 1,002 votes (0.34%) in a district with 10,221 registered
Latino, Asian and Middle Eastern voters. As immigrants continue to move
into the suburbs, including DuPage, Lake and McHenry Counties, a lack of
leadership on immigration by Republicans will hurt them in future