House GOP Digs In on Resistance to Immigration

Republicans feel out Dems on bite-sized bills
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2013 7:55 AM CDT
Updated Jul 11, 2013 7:59 AM CDT
House GOP Digs In on Resistance to Immigration
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, and GOP leaders, finish a news conference on Capitol Hill, July 9, 2013, following a Republican strategy session.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Republicans had their first full meeting on immigration reform yesterday, and the results were about as discouraging as expected for reform advocates. John Boehner warned his troops that the party would be politically vulnerable if it didn't devise some response to the Senate's bill, but it's clear that the group would never support a pathway to citizenship, the New York Times reports. Which means it's on to plans B, C, and/or D:

  • Plan B: Instead of passing a sweeping reform bill, the House is hoping to pass bite-sized ones; in their statement following yesterday's meeting, Republicans said the administration "cannot be trusted to deliver on its promises to secure the border … as part of a single, massive bill."
  • Plan C: But support is soft even for that, so Boehner and company are feeling out House Democrats on whether they'd support the smaller bills, Politico reports. Even then, the only bills they're pitching are ones beefing up border security and the E-verify system.
  • Plan D: Do nothing, or else try and fail. There's a vocal "No! Caucus" that met Monday to advocate just that, the Washington Post reports. Some believe waiting until after the 2014 elections is the best move. Others tell Slate that they fear anything they pass, no matter how limited, could morph into a comprehensive bill in conference committee with the Senate.

President Obama, of course, doesn't like any of those plans, and he's considering campaigning across the country for the bill, one Democratic rep tells USA Today. The White House also put out this video touting the benefits of reform. (Read more immigration stories.)

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