House opens first immigration hearing

House opens first immigration hearing

Posted: Updated:
  • ImmigrationMore>>

  • Obama asks Central American leaders for help

    Obama asks Central American leaders for help

    President Barack Obama is telling Central American presidents that the United States and the wider region share responsibility to address an influx of minors and families who are crossing the southwest border of the U.S.
    President Barack Obama is telling Central American presidents that the United States and the wider region share responsibility to address an influx of minors and families who are crossing the southwest border of the U.S.
  • House votes to boost child tax credit for some

    House votes to boost child tax credit for some

    Friday, July 25 2014 3:23 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:23:26 GMT
    The House passed a bill Friday that would gradually increase the popular child tax credit and make it available to more families with higher incomes.
    More families with higher incomes could claim the popular child tax credit under a bill that won approval Friday in the House. But in a dispute that divides Republicans and Democrats, millions of the poorest low-income...
  • House, Senate advance competing border proposals

    House, Senate advance competing border proposals

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:24 AM EDT2014-07-24 04:24:43 GMT
    Senate Democrats and House Republicans are moving separately to slash President Barack Obama's $3.7 billion emergency spending request for the southern border, but they're unlikely to end up with a deal...
    At an impasse on immigration, House Republicans and Senate Democrats advanced competing proposals Wednesday for dealing with tens of thousands of young migrants showing up at the southern border. Each side quickly ruled...

By ERICA WERNER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said Tuesday the nation's immigration system is "in desperate need of repair" as he opened Congress' first hearing this year on immigration. Whether Congress will be able to agree on how to fix it remained unclear.

The session came as President Barack Obama pushes for swift action to pass immigration legislation and as bipartisan Senate negotiators work to craft a bill. But in a sign of the difficulties to come, the Judiciary chairman, Republican Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, cautioned against a "rush to judgment" and said each piece of the issue must be examined in detail.

Goodlatte said there are lots of questions about how any large-scale legalization program would work, how much it would cost and how it would prevent illegal immigration in future.

Obama supports a pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country, something many Republicans oppose.

Goodlatte questioned whether another approach might be possible: "Are there options we should consider between the extremes of mass deportation and a pathway to citizenship for those not lawfully present in the United States?" he asked.

His question underscored the discomfort of many majority House Republicans with granting eventual citizenship to illegal immigrants, something conservatives often decry as amnesty.

At one point the hearing was interrupted by protesters, apparently young illegal immigrants known as "DREAMers" brought to the country as children, who shouted "undocumented and unafraid!" before being led out.

Yet Tuesday's hearing, which focused on fixing the legal immigration system and on enforcement, was notable for the generally measured tone from some Republicans known for strong anti-immigration positions.

Several questioned whether there's a way short of citizenship to deal with illegal immigrants, and others on the panel agreed on the need to allow more high-skilled workers to enter the country, a priority for technology companies.

"Let's not let the more contentious issues and the idea of comprehensive reform prevent us from passing something," said Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala.

It was part of a larger shift by Republicans who have begun to embrace action on immigration reform in the wake of the November elections in which large proportions of Hispanic voters supported Obama, helping him win re-election. Some GOP leaders have concluded that softening their views on immigration is becoming a political necessity.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., delivered a speech Tuesday embracing "an opportunity for legal residence and citizenship for those who were brought to this country as children and who know no other home." It appeared to be a change for Cantor, who voted against DREAM Act legislation to allow a path to citizenship for certain immigrants brought here as youths.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press modified.

Powered by WorldNow

4739 NW 53rd Avenue, Sutie B
Gainesville, FL 32653

Phone: (352) 371-0051

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices