House group agrees on immigration reform
May 16th, 2013
06:58 PM ET
2 years ago

House group agrees on immigration reform

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.


Filed under: House • Immigration
soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. Jack21

    No amnesty.......I own a construction company with over 80 workers,this will do nothing but hurt their wages. Why should my workers who are Americans have to worry about illegals even lowering labor costs even more.......Deport,do not reward the criminal Illegal Mexicans

    May 17, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  2. Richard Long

    The US has an excellent unemployment rate of 7.6%
    California has an outstanding unemployment rate of 9.4%
    We definitely need to add 12 million criminal immigrants into the job market to increase these numbers.

    With ObamaCare already projected to cost billions over budget to implement, we need to ensure that the Amnesty Bill provides immediate access to ObamaCare for criminal immigrants.

    Food Stamp usage has doubled in the past four years and is costing billions. We definitely need to triple that amount by providing necessary EBT cards to criminal immigrants.

    May 17, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  3. Myron Pitts

    This is somewhat of a surprising development. I had assumed the House wasn't going to do anything.

    May 17, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  4. gopusa

    Do not reward the illegals for breaking our laws,bankrupting our schools and communitys and draining our social services. The Illegal Latinos have done nothing but hurt the American Worker and Tax payer.........Send the Illegals Packing back to the border no exceptions. This is a slap in the face to all the American workers trying to make a living,last thing we need is 20 million illegals getting Amnesty.....this will truly hurt America

    May 17, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  5. centaur1

    its about time the politicians do something right

    May 17, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  6. Sheila

    it's the best thing for us people in the southern states, to have illegals working – It LOWERS the Cost of Everything !!
    As a matter of fact, I can get my Yard done for 10 bucks !! I have relatives in the northern states, who pay 4 or 5 times that, for the same size yard as I have !!

    May 17, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  7. CosmicC

    The bill is doomed, and with it, the GOP. They will fail to produce a reasonable compromise and that will cost them the house in the mid-term election next year.

    May 17, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  8. Jeff

    It makes me sick to see lawmakers pander to illegal Mexicans ant the cost of the American people...The lawmakers who decide to reward these criminals deserve nothing but deportation and jail time, and maybe forced to pay the American People back restitution for all the crimes they commited against the American people

    May 17, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  9. Jeff

    Deport Deport Deport WTH is wrong with lawmakers rewarding criminal Illegals.

    May 17, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  10. reaper19

    Why don't we simply annex Mexico? Instead of allowing them to come here and suck us dry, just make Mexico a state and be done with it.

    May 17, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  11. conservative

    If the gop keep pandering to the illegal Mexicans and pass this bill I will make sure I will not support them come election time. The gop lawmakers that vote for this bill are voting against their supporters and their base. I typically donate my time and money to help conservatives. Any conservative for this bill will no longer get my support. This bill is not what your voters and base want. Keep pandering to latinos and illegal Mexicans and you will loose your base of voters.........

    May 17, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  12. Adriano Pangelinan

    So much hate, thinly veiled racism, and ignorance posted here. With the exception of the misguided Heritage foundation report, all serious investigations show that providing a legal track for immigrant workers improves the economy. Western countries that stop immigration stagnate, those that utilize their hard work, ingenuity, and talents benefit. Even racist white men benefit they are just too hate filled to realize it.

    May 17, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  13. carlos blanco

    most of you all are hypocrites you bring in immigrants to do the work that most of you would not do such as roofing, hard labor ect and pay them low wages but then when coming to make them legal so they can pay taxes and keep their families intact you insult them like they are garbage. I've met a lot of these Mexicans and their families and most are hard working and honest. They came here to fine a better life just like the Italians, the Irish and other nationalities arrive after world war 2.The immigrants that are here over 3 years should stay and not break up their families. I've seen just as much criminals and jerks in other nationalities. So get off your prejudice horse and be compassionate and keep these families together. and still close the borders now but let these people stay.

    May 17, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  14. Jack from chicago

    This is a slap in the face to all American Workers and Taxpayers.........This bill should not pass,Call your lawmakers demanding this Anti American ,Anti Worker, Anti taxpayer bill passes. This bill will hurt all Americans wages, and reward the illegal Mexicans for bankrupting our our schools, emergency rooms, welfare, social services, gov, Deport the illegal Mexicans who do not love America,they only love what they can take from us

    May 17, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  15. Samuel Barboza

    They are not all Mexicans for all I know. Everybody enjoys when we buy clothes for a low price, when your food is delivered for you in the winter and you don't want to take your SUV out in the snow and that Asian guy comes with the Chinese food that you paid ONLY 9 dollars and gave 3 in tips. But everybody complains when all they want is to have a decent living, pay their taxes and have the benefits of doing it, go to college and get a degree, pursue credit to buy their own house. I'm an immigrant myself, have save more than 40,000 in a year and I have invested everything back in my country because I have no guarantee of staying here. First thing I will do when this gets approved is get my own house and get into college like any decent people, regardless of the nationality should have a shot at. Isn't that what is in the core of this so-called land of opportunities and freedom?

    May 17, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  16. Ya boy

    Lets not generalize here people

    May 17, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. roger

    They "finished the bill" but yet they kept parts out of it because they couldn't agree on what to do? I would not call that being done with anything. I would call that rushing an unfinished bill out and expecting someone to vote on it when it isn't even complete. Pathetic.

    May 17, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  18. Adriano Pangelinan

    It's amazing here. All you so called conservatives complaining here are acting like closet communists when you talk about "illegals" taking away your job. A job is not a hand out. Nobody pays anyone a $1 unless they can make more than a $1. Except for the government, every private job is a net benefit to the economy. People who work, pay for goods and services and pay for taxes help push the money around making the economy thrive. Providing legal status to people willing to work is the best thing you can do for the economy. It's a recipe for growth. You can't become a home construction worker unless there are enough people who have enough money to buy a house. This bill increases demand not lowers it. Think and stop being so prejudiced!

    May 17, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  19. sisko

    The only thing the GOP is concerned with are ways to LOWER wages. They want to allow an unlimited number of Indian IT workers into the country to lower IT workers wages even more, while the cost of IT training only increases. The GOP will ONLY pass a bill that will allow this.

    May 17, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  20. Evelyn

    Our politicians have become a bunch of pandering fools.Lets not support the American workers but lets support the corporation that hire illegals at the expense of the American worker.Call your senator and your congressional representative.Tell them no more repeats of 1986 .This bill will cripple the middle class all in the name of cheap labor.Tell them ,you support this bill,you don't get my vote ,period.

    May 17, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  21. Outsider

    How bout cutting the military budget and end the drug wars? $$ kaching!

    May 17, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  22. ghostriter

    Conservatives....These are your people, pushing their agenda that they laid out after the election. Please stop calling this a liberal whatever. Own up to the fact that your people are willing to put keeping their jobs over doing their jobs. It would be nice if you could be a bit objective on this.

    Liberals.....Be careful what you wish for. I work in IT and I can tell you that we are already feeling the crunch. No, this doesn't have much to do with us, but combined with the push for increased HB-1 visas that was passed with remarkable and bi-partisanship and even more remarkably with almost complete silence, means that conservatives would be right on this one. Now the low paying jobs are one thing. But things like construction will take a huge hit.

    At this point, I am more wary of anything they actually do agree on than anything else.

    May 17, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  23. Deb Ed

    Our politicians still do not understand the word "ILLEGAL". I have friends and relatives who spent thousands and thousands of dollars to become legal. Most are from Mexico, and one is from Pakistan who became a citizen about 55 years ago. This angers them. If these people want to become legal, pay like all of those who are. America has become a "free ride" country. I'm sick of it.

    May 17, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  24. Linda

    We provide them medical, we provide them food stamps, we provide them welfare, when will it stop, they are here illegally, they do not have those rights yet we spend millions and millions on them. I do not agree with them coming here to have their children so that they can become citizens from birth. You are illegal and so are your children. Enough is enough, its time we stop this vicious circle and send them home where they belong. When will they understand we don't want them or anyother illegals here. Please just go home where you came from!!

    May 17, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  25. Linda

    OH AND BTW.... how can we act against your rights when you dont have any rights here you are not citizens and you will never be citizens.

    May 17, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
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