WASHINGTON -- A bipartisan group of House members is close to
introducing its own immigration bill, which would grant legal status to
many of the nation's estimated 11 million illegal immigrants but -- in a
significant departure from similar proposals in the White House and
Senate -- isn't expected to include new paths to citizenship, according
to those involved in the discussions.
The House proposal will likely stoke the already heated debate on immigration.
advocates, union leaders and many Democrats, including President Barack
Obama, have said a path to citizenship is essential to any compromise.
the House proposal, no one would be barred permanently from
citizenship, but people would be eligible only via pathways already
available to other immigrants, such as marriage, family or
"I will argue until my last breath
for a pathway to citizenship that is quick and efficient because I want
to end this chapter. I want to end it," said Rep. Luis Gutierrez,
D-Ill., among the House's most outspoken advocates for immigrants.
The goal, he said, is to have no permanent underclass.
let me say, conversely, I am as committed as any Republican to ending
illegal immigration as we know it," he said. "They want to end it. So do
Neither Gutierrez nor any other member of the bipartisan group would confirm his or her involvement in the House team.
those aware of the discussion say he's among four Democrats and four
Republicans, some of whom have met secretly for years, who are working
to craft a bipartisan immigration plan that they think could pass the
more conservative chamber of Congress.
Other members are
Republicans Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, Raul Labrador of Idaho, and
John Carter and Sam Johnson, both of Texas, and Democrats John Yarmuth
of Kentucky and Xavier Becerra and Zoe Lofgren, both of California.
proposed legislation, like the White House and Senate proposals, would
beef up border security, establish a nationwide system to verify the
legal status of workers, punish businesses that hire illegal immigrants
and allow more agricultural and highly skilled immigrant workers to stay
in the country.
Members of the bipartisan team hope to release
the bill within three weeks, possibly before the Senate legislation,
which is scheduled to be delivered at the end of the month, according to
officials familiar with the team's proposal.
The Republican-led House is seen as the greatest obstacle to an overhaul.
conservative House members continue to liken a path to citizenship to
"amnesty," and they find it an affront to the rule of law.
other side, many advocates responded in outrage last month when the
Senate bipartisan team introduced its own proposal, which would offer a
path to citizenship only after an independent assessment determined that
the nation's borders were secure.
Several immigrant-rights groups want Obama to reject that aspect of the Senate proposal.
For More Information Contact us at:
- Eli Kantor
- Beverly Hills, California, United States
- Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com