Washington (CNN) - After months of intense negotiations, a bipartisan U.S. House group has reached an "agreement in principle" on immigration reform, according to Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, one of the GOP members of the group.
A Democratic aide familiar with the discussions confirmed that all the members signed on and told CNN both Democrats and Republicans "will now run the whole package past their respective leadership and colleagues" and aim to formally introduce legislation at the beginning of June.
Diaz-Balart declined to get into the details of the deal, but said, "there's going to be a lot of differences in a lot of areas," from a bipartisan measure working its way through the Senate.
"Filing a real bipartisan bill – a serious, enforceable commonsense bill is, I think, a huge step. But it's the first step of the process … a very important step," Diaz-Balart told reporters outside the House floor Thursday.
The four Republican members of the House group include Diaz-Balart, Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho, and Rep. John Carter and Rep. Sam Johnson, both of Texas.
The four Democrats are Reps. Xavier Becerra and Zoe Lofgren, both of California, Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, and Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky.
Carter told reporters earlier on Thursday that the last sticking point involved whether the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States would get access to government health care benefits. It's unclear how the group resolved that issue.
Carter also said that because Republican and Democratic negotiators were unable to come to an agreement on a program overseeing guest workers, the group decided to leave that issue out of the bill. But both planned to offer their proposals separately, likely as amendments to the main legislation.
Both sides differed on how many worker visas should be allowed for construction companies and other industries relying on low skilled labor workers.
House Speaker John Boehner pledged that any immigration bill would move through the appropriate committees in the House before any vote by the full chamber.
A key test for the bipartisan deal will come when the House Judiciary Committee takes it up, because that panel includes a significant number of conservatives, who have pledged to block any measure that allows a path to citizenship for undocumented workers.
Boehner signaled he wanted the House to have its own version to negotiate a final immigration bill with the Democratic-led Senate.
"I continue to believe that the House needs to deal with this and the House needs to work its will," Boehner said on Thursday.
The Senate plan is now being considered by the Judiciary Committee.
Its about time!!!!! and Americans need congress to get their act together and stop the BS on getting things done!
The GOP knows they must sign up for amnesty if they want to have any hope of defeating presumptive President-elect Hillary Clinton.
No amnesty, nor now, not ever!
"agreement in principle" on immigration reform legislation.... meaning that they agree reform is needed....
Why don't you all agree to reach an agreement in principle to help Americans??
Say no to amnisty, crime is crime. Those willing to break the law to make a life for their family include drug dealers, human smugglers, bank robbers, con men, ect. No amnisty
I hope the answer was NO ILLEGALS CAN STAY. that is the only acceptable answer. Too many Americans need jobs, and we pay too much now to support these illegals. Time to pass laws making it impossible for them to get food, housing jobs or medial care here. . . ten they will go home on their own.
I'm sure this will barely change anything, probably just another slap in the face to the Latino community.
Bipartisan agreement, a few better music than none to the ear.
noooo Amnesty for criminals. ... no and never. lets have a popular referendum and leave to Americans.
agreement in principle, huh, these people have no principles
The only immigration reform this country needs is enforcement of current law. We need to impose/enforce hefty fines on all businesses caught hiring these invaders. Immediately cease issuance of drivers licenses, food stamps, section 8 housing, and all other welfare benefits to these criminals. A vote in favor of amnesty should be considered treason. These traitors are turning this nation into a third-world cesspool.
This is a deliberate act of treason against legitimate citizens of the United States by congress. Time to remove the American flag from the capital building
"it's unclear how the group resolved that issue."
Did you even ask? Never mind, because the answer is: they didn't, obviously. Equally obvious is that the healthcare piece will be added on as an amendment to the bill, and the xenophobes on the Red Team won't countenance it. I also note that there was no agreement on the visa issue. So what the hell did they agree on?
Sounds like a good idea. I'm looking forward to read what the House lawmakers have come up with. Hopefully we can get some realistic immigration reform done this year :)
I'll believe this when I see it. Both sides actually agreeing on something...??
First, stop the problem from getting worse by getting control of the borders. Second, deal fairly with the legal immigrants who are following the rules. Third, deal fairly and humanely with the illegal immigrants.
What is the agreement in principal? To see how badly the American people get screwed in this bill?
Amnesty for the invaders is unacceptable. End the birthright. That by itself will stop a good amount of the invasion from the south and clean up the anchor problem for the future. Does anyone believe that the illegal invasion will stop unless the laws are routinely enforced anyway which is very doubtful. Any laws the invaders find difficult, unfair or racist are subject to no enforcement if history is to be repeated.
How is it that we citizens need to give citizenship to millions of ILLEGAL ALIENS who have entered this country ILLEGALLY? They are already eating up tax dollars, going to public schools without paying taxes, even going to colleges and universities while taking available scholarships that Americans could be using legally. How about we control immigration with our current laws allowing only those who enter LEGALLY to get in? Yes, it sounds cruel but the law is just -- obey our laws and become a citizen, it's simple. Enter ILLEGALLY and get tossed out.
I'm glad we don't have anything else to worry about out while we sort out all these social issues. The private sector is doing fine.
These bills are all a joke and offer no real answers to the problems
Yea and the House repealed Obama care yet CNN did not report that.
They will need more than 4 GOP reps to get a bill passed
I'm sure it's a bill that will pleze no one!