Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said he supported a pathway to citizenship for the country’s illegal immigrants after his town hall event in Utah Wednesday.
“There should be a pathway to citizenship, not a special pathway and not no pathway, but there has to be a legal lawful way to go through this process that works and right now it doesn’t,” Chaffetz told ABC 4 Utah.
Chaffetz said though he rejects the Senate bill and would not vote for it, “there are five bills in the House that we have supported.”
A recent Washington Post poll shows only 32% of Americans want the House of Representatives to pass the same immigration bill as the Senate did in late June. In contrast, 53% want the House to pass piecemeal legislation, tackling immigration policy step by step.
While insufficient polling data exists to determine the cause of this opposition, analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) determined the Senate legislation would lower the wages of working-class Americans.
Once the House passes its own version of immigration reform–whether through one bill or multiple bills, as Chaffetz referenced–that legislation will go into “conference” with the Senate’s to reconcile the differences between the bills.
Breitbart News previously reported that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has said if the Senate and House go to conference, the Senate would prevail on comprehensive immigration reform.
“If we go to conference, we would win,” Reid said two weeks ago.
Chaffetz said the federal government had to reform legal immigration first before saying he supported an eventual path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.