House group agrees on immigration reform
May 16th, 2013
06:58 PM ET
1 year 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. Dr Veruju

    If Zoe Lofgren is involved you can be sure it is complete and total nonsense that undermines the well being of the existing US citizenry.

    May 17, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  2. sisko

    Here is the latest on the battle on H1-B's which has EVERYTHING to do with comprehensive immigration reform. Passage of this bill could devastate what is left of the middle class. There is NO SHORTAGE of American IT workers. Just a shortage of American IT workers that will work for the same wage as the foreigners. The GOP is tying immigration reform to this. They are a gang of criminals.

    May 17, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. NMEast

    First of all, less than 2% of illegal aliens work in the fields harvesting food. Most of them work in construction, hotel services, food services, auto repair, etc.
    Second, there is already a way for people to immigrate to this country LEGALLY. There is also a visa for agricultural workers and for technology workers. What the employers don't like are the requirements that go with those two visas – they are responsible for paying a decent wage, making sure there is housing and health care available for these kinds of workers and MAKING SURE THEY RETURN TO THEIR COUNTRY OF ORIGIN when the job is finished. The employers don't want to have to do any of that. They want to continue paying them slave wages and not worry about what happens to them when the job is done.
    Obama and others want to allow 11 million or more to get amnesty, that's what it will be no matter how you want to look at it, and stick it in the faces of those who have followed all the rules to immigrate here legally. I know a LEGAL IMMIGRANT who has been here, following all the rules, paying all the fees, filing all applications, for TEN YEARS, and is now being told that she won't be granted a green card because they don't think her 12 year marriage to an FBI agent is "real" and they want references from her familiy, friends, even her church, bank, etc, to prove that she is not faking the marriage. This is the kind of crap that LEGAL immigrants go through all the time, yet Congress and Obama want to allow the illegal aliens an easier time. These politicians, including Obama, should be impeached and thrown out of office, no matter what party they belong to.

    May 17, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  4. No support

    LOL LOL LOL look, another republican who thinks he struck a deal that his fellow republicans will vote for!!! I guess he forgot about Rand Paul and Michelle Bachman? The tea party will yip and yell and cry until bringing to bill to the floor will be to painful and it will die. Republicans really should get a dose of reality.

    May 17, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. Dean

    Adriano Pangelinan-----–They work and we pay them a dollar and they earn their employer a dollar and a quarter. They do not make enough to pay income taxes and because of their dependents they get food stamps, medical care paid for by taxpayers, schooling paid for by taxpayers, government subsidized housing paid for by taxpayers.........Every private job is not a benefit to the economy.

    May 17, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. Dean

    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. ------–You can rest assured that our "leaders" will get access to Obamacare, but you can change the 11 million to more like 25 million because when this is about to become law we will be flooded with many more illegals.

    May 17, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. My View

    And the decline of America continues. My old town I grew up in is nothing but hispanic and everything is in Spanish. Houses have declined, garbage everywhere. Sure, lets bring in more. The economic value they are supposed to have will be gone because now they get benifits and have to be paid min wage. And the taxes – they will pay non still because of their total income. So where is the benefit? Oh thats right it POLITICALLY CORRECT.

    May 17, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  8. What Now

    Distract, distract, distract. Now Congress can avoid their real job and avoid making controversial decisions.

    May 17, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  9. Aaron

    My family wanted to immigrate but they were denied, I am asking them to come here illegaly and you will be granted Citizenship !!!! Good going Politicians just to be in the government seat

    May 17, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  10. mike

    If they did not respect our laws before this will realy encourage them not to now!

    May 17, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  11. Badly-Bent

    I like Roy Beck's action board to express my outrage over this issue.

    May 17, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. phil

    the law says DEPORT,just do it.

    May 17, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. Archie Dicksion

    If the sticking point was government health care for the illegal immigrants, then that tells us that the committee has decided to some arrangement whereby those here illegally will be allowed to stay. Will they also have a provision for chained immigration? I wonder if the senate "Gang of Eight" or the house committee has considered that 40% of black teenagers are unable to find jobs? The percentage of unemployed hispanic teenagers is only somewhat less. How will in influx of illegals improve this problem? Further as this group moves out of the shadows, they will also move from the unskilled low paying jobs into the areas of employment of middle income individuals. The end result will be that wage levels for middle and lower income people will be reduced further widening the divide between the haves and the have-nots. If the border is not closed to illegal crossings, we will only have to revisit the same problem in the near future. Allowing those here illegally while they apply for citizenship is applying our immigration laws unequally to those trying to come here legally by complying with our laws. Except as it applies to those here illegally, I have yet to hear a clear explanation of exactly what portion of our immigration laws are broken and need to be fixed. If in fact they are broken, it would appear that Congress (senate and house) should concentrate on just those that are broken and repair them. It is not necessary to re-write the entire code just for the benefit of those here illegally. Lastly, If the Secretary of Homeland Security is to be charged with securing the border, what provision is there in the law to impose sanctions upon her personally if she should fail or refuse to secure the border? If there is no such provision, then border security is just a fiction

    May 17, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. sly

    Republicans are losers, and once again, Democracy will win.

    Thank you President Obama for forcing the Republicans to implement meaningful immigration reform.

    This will greatly help our nation by granting legal status to 11 million people who work a heck of a lot harder than most Americans.

    May 17, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  15. John Doe

    The part nobody is talking about is the increase H1-B Visas for the businesses increase to 180,000 total h1-b. In addition, the H1-B spouse will also be granted to work in the USA. So there is possibility of 360,000 people that could work in the High tech field. With all the outsourcing and increase H1-B visas I feel sorry for the people in the high-tech areas in the USA....

    May 17, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  16. fedup

    Seriously, it was obama who wnated complete amnesty fir 11 million illegals, now it is the republicians fault???? Some of you are to stupid to live

    May 17, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  17. GOP = Greed Over People

    "We provide them medical, we provide them food stamps, we provide them welfare, when will it stop, they are here illegally".

    Wrong, we do not provide "them" food stamps, unless "they" can produce a valid, authorized U.S. birth certificate.

    Medical care up to now, you can blame on Congress which made all ER's the health care of last resort, and therefore, a burden on both taxpayers and insurance premium payers, for that matter you can blame the House GOP for continuing the ER health care of last,resort for "them" since they were responsible for shooting down letting "them" pay for the insurance premiums to join Obama cares, and therefore, assuring "they" will remain in the ER system of health care, all paid for by the American taxpayer.

    Until you cons accept reality, and realize we cannot afford to deport 12 million of "them" and accept that fact, this subject cannot be rationally discussed.

    May 17, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Why shouldn't all 11 million undocemented aliens get leagal status and healthcare? After all, 12 million undocumented African slaves came to America against their will, worked and built up red states without pay and red states never paid a dime in taxes.

    May 17, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. gfbf

    Hey I want a measure that if any illegal who has been in this country one day or 100 yrs who applied for citizenship must wait 25yrs before they can vote. Now let see how humane the democrats are.

    May 17, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  20. gfbf

    "Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer"

    How many of those slaves do you know. What do you know about slavery? Should it just stop with America? Let us punish the rest of the world who had slaves. Start with the muslims!

    May 17, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. gfbf

    "This will greatly help our nation by granting legal status to 11 million people who work a heck of a lot harder than most Americans."

    This is a result of a nanny state!

    May 17, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. Wake up People!

    Thank you Blah, blah, blah!!! And might I add, that they were never respected, treated decently and neither have their ancestors.

    And no one gives a damn!!

    May 17, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  23. TomGI

    Those right wingers really want the Mexicans to think they love them. This is their 'plan' to fool them into voting Republican in 2016.

    May 17, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. Gregory L. Faith

    "Both sides differed on how many worker visas should be allowed for construction companies and other industries relying on low skilled labor workers."

    I think there are plenty of able bodied young AMERICANS who are unemployed to fill those ranks.

    May 17, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. gfbf

    yep the progressive liberals are monitoring this blog really close

    May 17, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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