Paul Ryan Speaker Immigration Promises


In his effort to become the next Speaker of the House, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) made two immigration promises to Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. Rep. Ryan agreed not to move immigration legislation while Pres. Obama is still in office and to abide by the Hastert Rule on all immigration bills.

In a letter written by House Freedom Caucus Member Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Ryan made the following two promises with regards to immigration:

  1. It is unwise or unproductive to bring up any immigration legislation so long as Barack Obama is president.
  2. As Speaker, (Ryan) will not allow any immigration bill to reach the House floor for a vote unless the immigration bill is "supported by a majority of the majority" of the House Republican Conference.

While these promises look good in principle, a two-hour PBS documentary that aired last week, Immigration Battle, detailed how Ryan was able to win over the support of a majority of House Republicans on an amnesty bill similar to the Gang of Eight's in 2014.

The documentary showed how Ryan worked with Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) to write a pro-amnesty bill that Republicans would pass. According to the documentary, Ryan assured Gutierrez that he had gained enough Republican support to pass the bill on the House floor. The bill was only stopped when House Freedom Caucus Member Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) defeated then-Majority Leader, Eric Cantor. Cantor's defeat caused enough Republicans to back off of the Ryan bill to kill the deal.

Read more about the deal at


Updated: Tue, Nov 10th 2015 @ 4:55pm EST