Immigration: GOP steps away from any path to citizenship; House leadership to hash out plan

by
July 10, 2013

House Republicans are meeting Wednesday to hash out their own strategy on immigration, but already one major difference has emerged between them and their Senate counterparts — they are far less enthusiastic about an eventual path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

Even many of the 32 Senate Republicans who voted against their immigration bill last month said they think a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants is necessary, and eventually likely. But in the House, that’s far from a majority stance.

“I believe any talk about a pathway to citizenship will only make the problem worse because our borders are open and you’re encouraging people to come here illegally,” said Rep. Lou Barletta, a Pennsylvania Republican who pioneered immigration crackdowns as a mayor before winning election to Congress.

He said the chief goal for Republicans when they huddle Wednesday afternoon to talk strategy should be to establish that immigration enforcement must come before anything else.
For Democrats, the path to citizenship is non-negotiable as a part of the bill.

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