Labrador: Immigration Reform 'Not Going to Happen This Year'
Even though President Barack Obama indicated he felt comprehensive immigration reform could get done this year, Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) said he believed House Republicans would not allow that to happen, especially after Obama refused to engage in substantive negotiations with House Republicans over the budget.
"It's not going to happen this year," Labrador, who left the group of Republicans that had been working on drafting a comprehensive bill in the House, told USA Today. "After the way the president acted over the last two or three weeks where he would refuse to talk to the speaker of the House... they're not going to get immigration reform. That's done."
Obama has called comprehensive immigration reform his "number-one priority" and immediately urged Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform the day after the government re-opened this week.
Even though some like Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) said comprehensive immigration reform would "divide" and "really melt down the conference," USA Today also notes that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) "has said he is committed to advancing immigration legislation in this Congress."
House Republicans have reportedly been working on a series of piecemeal immigration bills to end up in conference with the Senate, which passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill that includes a pathway to citizenship. Recently, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) said Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, was working on a bill that would enable House Republicans to go to conference. “I’m happy that he says that he’s moving forward, that he’s looking for a bill that can go to conference,” Gutierrez recently said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also said Democrats would do "whatever it takes" to get to conference with the Senate, where a pathway to citizenship provision will most likely prevail.
As Breitbart News has previously reported, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) "also said at a town hall in July that the House will attempt to use a piecemeal approach on immigration to get to conference with the Senate. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has said that a pathway to citizenship would be a 'fundamental principle' of any final immigration reform bill":
Democrats and Republicans have indicated that many of the Senate's immigration provisions would win out if both chambers go to conference. Should that occur, there may be enough Republicans in the House who are willing to support a path to legalization that could vote with Democrats on a final bill that gives the country's illegal immigrants a path to legalization or citizenship.