Republican leaders said Sunday that their immigration plan centers around tightening border security before looking at opportunities for legal residency, while the Obama administration said it can’t support a plan that doesn’t include a path to citizenship.
“We don’t trust the president to enforce the law,” Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” “First, we have to secure the border, have interior enforcement, which is a worker verification system, a visa tracking program. Those things have to be in law, in practice and independently verified before the rest of the law can occur.”
Without Democratic support to secure the border, Mr. Ryan said getting a bill on the president’s desk this year is “clearly in doubt.”
In a brief document circulated at the GOP policy retreat last week in Maryland, Republicans unveiled a plan to move forward on immigration reform, including changing the system to make it more difficult for immigrants to move their families to America, closing the gates to future illegal immigrants and giving young illegal immigrants a chance to become citizens.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, said Republicans still support a step-by-step reform rather than a comprehensive overhaul. It’s smart to talk about the “Dreamers” — young illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children and raised here — he said, since the majority of both parties believe they should have a path to citizenship.
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