November 14, 2013

House Republicans to let immigration reform bill die

The quiet death comes four months after the Senate passed a bipartisan, far-reaching agreement.

By Donna Cassata
Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, accompanied by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., speaks aafter Republican lawmakers met at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013.

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

“I believe the House will come to its senses and realize that we have to fix our immigration system in a bipartisan way,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement. “They cannot possibly end this Congress only having passed legislation to deport all of the Dream Act kids.”

Before Boehner’s news conference with other Republican leaders, several immigrant children approached Boehner as he sat down for breakfast at a Capitol Hill diner and described how they could lose parents to deportation. The children were in Washington as several organizations maintain their pressure on the House to act on immigration.

Carmen Lima, a 13-year-old from California, told Boehner that she feared never seeing her father again and asked Boehner if the group could count on Boehner for his vote.

“Well, I’m trying to find some way to get this thing done,” Boehner said. “It’s ... not easy — not gonna be an easy path forward. But I’ve made it clear since the day after the election that it’s time to get this done.”

In a statement later in the day, the girls said they felt betrayed.

“I didn’t know what to expect from the speaker when I told him I could lose my father to deportation,” Lima said. “But I did not expect he would lie to me, and that’s what it feels like now.”

Democrats expressed frustration over the House’s lack of action at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on enforcing laws to deal with legal immigrants who overstay their visas.

“If we can vote 45 times to gut Obamacare and have another vote scheduled this week, why can the Republican leadership not find the time to schedule one vote on immigration?” said Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill.

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