Paul Ryan on Amnesty: Not a Matter of 'If' but 'When'

Paul Ryan on Amnesty: Not a Matter of 'If' but 'When'

On Wednesday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) told the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that amnesty legislation is inevitable. 

Ryan reportedly told the audience to “please know that we understand the value of immigration.”

“We know its importance; we know its roots, its history here in America; and we have ideas on how to make this go forward and make it work so that we do have the rule of law, so that we do have reform, so that we’re not in the same position 15 years down the road,” he said. 

Though momentum for immigration reform stalled after Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) declared the House GOP leadership’s “immigration principles” document to be amnesty, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and President Barack Obama have indicated they want to get immigration legislation “done” this year. And Ryan said recently that the GOP leadership is searching for the votes to make that happen. 

“We don’t have the votes right now,” he said in a recent interview with the Janesville Gazette. “Right now, we’re working hard to find where that consensus lies.” 

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus spoke before Ryan at the gathering and said, regarding immigration reform, “We have to do something.”

House Democrats unveiled a discharge petition on Wednesday to try to force a vote on amnesty legislation, but it is highly unlikely the petition will get the 218 signatures that are needed.