Why? Why? Why? With the midterms coming up why would they take this on now?
CAMBRIDGE, Md. — House Republicans are proposing to overhaul immigration laws so undocumented immigrants can gain legalization if they meet certain requirements, and if the nation’s borders are certified as secure.
The document — a draft of which POLITICO obtained before it was circulated here to members of of the House Republican Conference — lays out no legislation, but rather broad principles to guide the process of writing it. Party leaders are expected to lay out these “standards for immigration reform” here at their annual retreat.
In a shift for the party, Republicans are blessing a pathway to legalization for those who came into the country illegally. It does stress, though, that undocumented immigrants will have to go through the current immigration system and learn about the United States. Criminals will not be eligible for legalization.
“These persons could live legally and without fear in the U.S., but only if they were willing to admit their culpability, pass rigorous background checks, pay significant fines and back taxes, develop proficiency in English and American civics, and be able to support themselves and their families (without access to public benefits),” according to a draft of the document.
The document also makes clear that the House will not negotiate with the Senate on its comprehensive immigration bill. In fact, GOP leadership has already begun laying out the differences between the House’s approach and the Senate’s bill.