Moving on to the next phase of his three-pronged process to immigration reform, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., is currently working on a bill that, if passed, will provide legal status to children who were brought to the United States illegally.
Goodlatte is working on the impending bill with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. A House Judiciary aide said Friday that the official sponsor of the bill hasn’t been decided as yet, and no timing has been set for when it will be introduced.
“This is just part of his step-by-step approach to immigration reform,” the aide said. “We’ve approved four bills -- some dealing with legal immigration programs and others relating to strengthening interior enforcement and border security. This is the next step: How do we deal with those that are here illegally.”
Goodlatte has said that House-approved reform would not provide a special path to citizenship like that in the Senate bill. Under the Senate’s 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill, the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants have a pathway to citizenship that could take at least 13 years. How Goodlatte sees immigration being handled is by streamlining legal immigration, securing the border and ensuring internal enforcement, and then by providing some sort of legal status that will bring illegals out of the shadows, the aide said.
“These children came here through no fault of their own and many of them know no other home than the United States,” Goodlatte said in a statement, adding that any successful reform plan must “find a way to fairly deal with those who are currently in the country unlawfully.”