Author of House Immigration Reform Bill: 'Not Gonna Happen'
On Friday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), who had been working with six other Representatives to write the House's version of a comprehensive immigration bill, conceded that his group's legislation was effectively dead.
“It’s just not gonna happen now," he said.
Gutierrez, a vocal advocate of immigration reform and a member of the House's "gang of seven," told the Washington Post that the House will not likely go forward with his bill "anytime in the near future." The bill would have provided a pathway to citizenship for the country's illegal immigrants.
“It doesn’t appear that we’re going to move forward with the group of seven,” Gutierrez said. “The process is stalled. I don’t believe we’re going to produce a bill anytime soon."
According to the Washington Post, Republicans like Reps. John Carter (R-TX) and Sam Johnson (R-TX) who were a part of the gang of seven "are set to publicly announce that the gang of seven plan is not going to happen." They reportedly "backed away from reform because they caught heat from conservative constituents who wanted more border security." Gutierrez also said the House Republican leadership fell out of favor with the "gang of seven" plan.
The House, though, may still bring up a series of piecemeal bills in order to ultimately go to conference with the Senate, where many conservatives opposed to amnesty believe proponents of a pathway to citizenship for all of the country's illegal immigrants would win.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has said that a pathway to citizenship had to be a "fundamental principle" of any immigration bill Congress passes. He has also indicated that should the two chambers go to conference, many of the key provisions in the Senate bill, which the Congressional Budget Office determined would lower the wages of working class Americans, would win out.
President Barack Obama also recently said comprehensive immigration reform was his "number-one priority."