Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), one of the most prominent supporters of a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, said that his Republicans friends tell him that they will try to pass all of the components of comprehensive immigration reform in a piecemeal fashion.
“When I talk to my Republican friends,” Gutierrez said, “[they tell me] all of the parts will lead to the full package.”
He made his comments on Al Jazeera America’s Inside Story on Friday. Gutierrez has called Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) his “ally” in his quest for amnesty and has praised Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) as well. He emphasized that he, like President Barack Obama, does not care if immigration reform is “in parts and pieces as long as in the end, there is a full menu.”
Last week, President Barack Obama said of the comprehensive bill that passed the Senate, “If they want to chop that thing up in five pieces, as long as all five pieces get done, I don’t care what it looks like. Then, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said that immigration reform was “absolutely not” dead.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), one of the staunchest opponents of comprehensive immigration reform, said that the House needed to be on alert because “it’s not step-by-step if the individual bills are combined into a comprehensive proposal in a backroom negotiation and delivered to the President’s desk.”
“Instead, the House must insist that enforcement is accomplished before advancing any other immigration bills,” Sessions said before emphasizing that comprehensive immigration reform legislation will lower the wages of working class Americans, as determined by a Congressional Budget Office report.
House Republican leaders have said they would not go to conference on the exact Senate bill, but have not ruled out working with the Senate on various piecemeal pieces of legislation.