Immigration overhaul legislation has been dormant in the House for months, but a few Republicans are working behind the scenes to advance it at a time the Capitol is immersed in a partisan brawl over government spending and President Barack Obama’s health care law.
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, has been discussing possible legal status for the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. He’s also been working with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a fellow Virginia Republican, on a bill offering citizenship to immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children.
Reps. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, and Ted Poe, R-Texas, are working on a plan to create a visa program allowing more lower-skilled workers into the country.
Goodlatte and the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, hold out hopes for floor action by late October on a series of immigration bills that already have passed their committees.
“I would think that would be the next agenda item in the queue after we’re done with this mess,” McCaul said this past week, referring to bitter divisions over the health law, the level of government spending and the growing federal debt.
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