October 2, 2013
Washington D.C. – Today, in an important effort to keep the conversation and momentum on immigration reform moving forward in the House, a group of centrist Democrats introduced their version of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. Although the full text has not yet been made available, it is said to be a modification of the bipartisan Senate bill of the same name adopted earlier this year. Among other reported changes, the House bill takes a different path on border security, incorporating a bill introduced by Republican Congressman Mike McCaul which passed unanimously out of the House Committee on Homeland Security in May of 2013. The House sponsors—including Representatives Garcia, Chu, Polis, DelBene, and Horsford—adopted provisions of the McCaul-Thompson bill as a replacement for the costly, controversial “border surge” strategy adopted by the Senate under the Corker-Hoeven amendment.
Substantively, the comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced today reflects a series of bipartisan policy and political compromises made during deliberations in the Senate. The original co-sponsors represent diverse interests from within the Democratic Party, including the New Democrats Coalition, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.
The following is a statement from the American Immigration Council’s Executive Director, Benjamin Johnson:
“The introduction of a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the House presents an important opportunity for bipartisan cooperation and is a reminder that Congress can and must work on more than one issue at a time. The bill’s co-sponsors have demonstrated a willingness to take a fresh look at the decidedly imperfect Senate bill and use it as a starting point for shaping truly bipartisan legislation. To succeed, Republicans must either seize the opportunity to turn this into a truly bipartisan moment for moving immigration reform forward, or put forward an alternative vehicle for fixing our broken immigration system.”
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