House Republicans left Washington last week for a monthlong Congressional recess, still uncertain how immigration reform will play out or even if there will be action on such legislation in the lower chamber before year-end.
Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Sunday said there has been no announcement on a schedule of how the issue of overhauling the system will move forward. Cantor was speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” where he also refused to say whether there will be a vote this year on a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country.
More than a dozen Republican Senators helped pushed through a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the upper chamber in June. That piece of legislation improves border security as well as opens up a 13-year path to citizenship for people who are in the country illegally. Things are moving at a much slower pace in the House, where the GOP is certain of one thing: the Senate bill won't make it to the floor, a fact Cantor reiterated on Sunday.
“We don’t believe that that’s the right path toward an immigration reform bill,” Cantor said on the Sunday program. “I think the House has also indicated that we’re going to take a position on this. … We will have a vote on a series of bills at some point. And it will deal with a variety of issues. Border security is a really important issue, because it goes to that trust factor, as well. We also, as you know, I’ve been very active in promoting what I’m calling a kids bill. It’s not been written yet but it will say that you ought not hold kids liable for illegal acts of their parents.”
At this time, the "kids" bill is the only measure proposed by House Republicans that appears to deal with legal status for immigrants (specifically children brought to the country illegally), an issue that formed a big part -- if not the biggest part -- of the discussions about fixing the broken system. But GOP leaders have insisted that senators won't dictate how they write their laws, what’s inside their bills and how soon those measures pass the chamber.
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“I have said that we will be addressing the issue of immigration in the House, according to our terms, not the way the Senate did because there’s a lot of doubt being cast on whether the folks who voted for that know even what in the end was voted on, because of the scramble to get the votes in the last piece of that legislative activity,” Cantor said. “And we’re going to be a lot more deliberative and smart in the House.”