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John Boehner: House Will Write Its Own Immigration Bill

Cindy Saine

June 28, 2013

The United States Senate has passed landmark immigration reform legislation that would create a path toward citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants, but to become law it must pass in the Republican-led House of Representatives.

House Speaker John Boehner has made clear that the bill, as it stands now, is dead on arrival in the House.

"The House is not going to take up and vote on whatever the Senate passes," he said. "We are going to do our own bill, through regular order, and it will be legislation that reflects the will of our majority and the will of the American people."

Many of Boehner's fellow House Republicans who are more focused on tighter border security and identifying immigrants who have overstayed their visas oppose any path to citizenship for illegal residents.

House Democrats, on the other hand, celebrated the passage of the Senate bill and say it is urgent that House members come together to reform the immigration system.

Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Illinois says people's lives and families depend on it.

"Today 1,200 people will be deported; 1,200 people were deported yesterday, and [will be] every day until we fix our broken immigration system," he said.

But Speaker Boehner has made clear he does not want to rely on the almost unanimously pro-immigration Democratic caucus in the House to pass immigration reform. Political analyst Larry Sabato says he is skeptical that the House of Representatives will pass a major overhaul of immigration.

"The odds are that if it passes anything, it will pass bits and pieces rather than comprehensive immigration reform," Sabato said.

Along with other political analysts, Sabato says that even if Boehner wants to pass immigration reform to improve Republicans' standing among Hispanic voters, he is likely to face resistance within his own party.

"As we have learned repeatedly, Speaker Boehner does not control the House of Representatives, or his own caucus," he said.

Members of Congress are heading home for a week over the July 4th holiday. When they return, Boehner says, House Republicans will meet on July 10th to discuss the way forward on immigration.

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