The immigration adviser that House Speaker John Boehner recently hired to help him pass immigration reform legislation is reportedly leading an effort to help Boehner and the House Republican leadership draft a statement of “immigration principles.”
According to reports, Rebecca Tallent, who was a top adviser to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on comprehensive immigration reform, is helping Boehner and other Republican leaders reach their goals on immigration.
“We are working on a standards or principles document,” Boehner said on Wednesday, according to a Republican who was at the closed-door meeting with Boehner and told the Los Angeles Times. The document will reportedly be presented to Republicans before the House Republican retreat January 29. Others who are working on the draft include House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who has expressed an interest in conferencing with the Senate on immigration, in addition to other House members who are interested in the issue.
Boehner, after declaring that immigration reform was “absolutely not” dead this Congress, is reportedly “committed” to ramming through immigration reform in the new year.
Though Boehner has said he would not go to conference on the exact Senate bill, he has left the door open to negotiation on piecemeal parts of the legislation. President Barack Obama and Democrats have said they would be fine with comprehensive immigration reform being broken up into pieces so long as all of the pieces, including the pathway to citizenship provision, pass.
In addition, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) has said that his “Republican friends” have told him that they really want all of comprehensive immigration reform in everything but name only. Proponents and opponents of amnesty have indicated that, should the two chambers make it to conference on immigration, the pathway to citizenship provision would be included in whatever bill emerges.