House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), and Reps. Joe Barton (Tex.) and Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.), recently discussed the prospects for moving immigration legislation in the House this year. All three see a chance for action despite the fact that their visions for reform amount to amnesty.
At an event kicking off her re-election campaign, McMorris Rodgers said an immigration deal could be reached before the election. “I believe there is a path that we get a bill on the floor by August,” she said. McMorris Rodgers supports a legal status that allows illegal aliens to remain in the country to work or attend school while they “wait their turn” under the current immigration system. This is essentially the legalization component of Speaker Boehner’s immigration “principals.” “We’re going to have to push that this is a legal status, not amnesty,” she said.
Barton told his local NBC affiliate that he will soon introduce legislation to give citizenship to the minor children of illegal aliens. "If the only illegal act they committed was coming into the country without proper documentation we'd put them on a path to legalization," Barton said. He also wants to create an extensive new guest worker program.
In an interview with the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, Diaz-Balart said that efforts to strike an immigration deal are gaining steam. He said the announcement by two amnesty-supported Illinois Republicans (Adam Kinzinger and Aaron Schock), Speaker Boehner’s recent comments, and the ongoing protests by pro-illegal alien are indications that momentum has returned to those who want reform this year.
“I think we finally have the policy right,” Diaz-Balart told Roll Call. “I think we have figured out a way to secure, to have border and interior security, holding the administration accountable for the enforcement…And I think we figured out a way to deal with the folks that are here in a way that is fair…And what we’re finding is more and more people out there as they’re seeing it, different aspects of the policy, are starting to say, ‘Hey, that is something that makes sense.’…It is as close as we have ever been. It is still a big, big, heavy lift. I think we’re going to get there…We’re going to need a large group of Republicans and Democrats who are willing to stand up and do what is right for our country…Getting legislation that can get you to that 218 you need is not easy on this issue, but I feel really good about it.”
Diaz-Balart was an original member of the House “gang” formed to develop a comprehensive amnesty bill. He has repeatedly expressed optimism even when most had declared the topic dead for the year.
Read more in Breitbart News.