Rep. Joe Garcia
Rep. Joe Garcia

Updated:  

Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Fla.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) along wtih more than half of House Democrats introduced a blanket amnesty bill that would grant work permits to the 11-18 million illegal aliens living in the United States and likely double annual legal immigration numbers. The bill is similar to the Schumer-Rubio-Obama amnesty bill, S.744, after it was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. It has replaced, however, the Corker-Hoeven "border security" amendment with a bill introduced by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) that has already been approved by the Committee.

"All we're saying is, look, we know the votes exist," Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) of California said. "Let us show you that we're not going to play games here, we're not going to start from the far-left corner of the field. Let's show you that we're willing to move forward quickly." 

The bill has received mostly a chilly reception from the House GOP, particularly from Judiciary Committee Chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who has come under fire in recent weeks for his announced support of a plan that would grant legal status and work permits to the nation's illegal aliens.

"The immigration bill introduced today by several House Democrats is basically the Senate bill," a spokesperson for Rep. Goodlatte said. "Chairman Goodlatte strongly opposes the Senate bill since it repeats the mistakes of past immigration overhauls, and he has made it clear that the Senate bill is a nonstarter in the House." 

Even Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), the lone Republican on the House's original 'Gang of 8', was skeptical of the move.

"That's like if I filed a bill today, naming myself as president of the United States and chief Supreme Court justice," Rep. Diaz-Balart said. "It's as relevant ... as if I did something like that." 

A former Member of the House 'Gang of 8' also objected.

"It's dead," said Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Id.). "It's kind of a ridiculous idea." 

But not all GOP House Members are opposed to the Democrats' gesture.

"The biggest issue I had with the Senate bill was the border security piece. I support the McCaul bill," said Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.). "It sounds very positive, but I will always wait to see what those details are."

"If there's some common-sense legislation out there, it doesn't matter who starts it," Rep. David Valadao (D-Calif.) said. "If there's an opportunity to do something that's moving the ball forward, I'll look at it." 

The bill, H.R.15, was officially introduced by Rep. Garcia of Florida, but it was introduced with 120 additional cosponsors.

For more information, see Politico.com

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