GOP chief: 'We need comprehensive immigration reform'
June 28th, 2013
02:03 PM ET
10 months ago

GOP chief: 'We need comprehensive immigration reform'

Washington (CNN) - One day after the Senate passed a full-spectrum immigration bill with overwhelming support, the chairman of the Republican National Committee re-emphasized the need for reform but said the final contours of the legislation are far from settled.

"We need comprehensive immigration reform," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus told CNN in an interview in his Capitol Hill office. "I don't think we can continue to drift along with this mess of immigration laws that we have. And a mess that in many regards has been the results of our government not even enforcing the laws that are in place. There is plenty of blame to go around for why we are in this position, but I think it's about time that we address it."

The immigration overhaul would create a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, raise the cap on visas for high-skilled workers, and boost security along the U.S.-Mexico border, was approved Thursday by a 68-32 vote, with 14 Republicans supporting the measure.

The Senate bill, though, is not expected to pass muster in the Republican-controlled House, where a conservative-dominated caucus stands waiting in staunch opposition to the measure.

Despite that reluctance – and outspoken criticism from some leading conservative figures and Senate Republicans who opposed the bill - Priebus said "it's clear that there is pretty broad consensus in the party, in the Republican Party, that we need comprehensive immigration reform."

Priebus said that House Speaker John Boehner is unlikely to take up the Senate bill and instead craft a package that could be approved by the House before being taken back to Senate negotiators.

"My understanding is that the House is going to draft its own version of an immigration bill that they see as either a better fix for comprehensive immigration reform, or something that is reflective of the Republican majority of the House, and then potentially go to conference, and potentially have a conclusion," he said.

"I know the leadership in the House is committed to putting something pretty comprehensive together that's going to address the issue," he said.

Priebus, challenged with making his party appealing to a Hispanic electorate that favored President Obama by a stunning 3-1 ratio in the 2012 election, credited Republicans for helping push the immigration bill over the Senate finish line.

He pointed specifically to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's decision to work inside the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" that crafted the legislation before taking it to the full Senate.

"One thing I think is pretty clear," Priebus told CNN. "We wouldn't have been in this place without Republicans being at the table pushing for immigration reform. And I think this conversation would never be happening without Marco Rubio."


Filed under: Immigration • Reince Priebus • Senate
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Data Driven

    Agreed, Priebus. Your party needs it.

    Now go tell the splinter party in the House the same thing. Maybe you'll convince some of them, but I rather doubt it. They don't like Mexicans very much.

    June 28, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    "One thing I think is pretty clear," Priebus told CNN. "We wouldn't have been in this place without Republicans being at the table pushing for immigration reform. And I think this conservation would never be happening without Marco Rubio."
    --------------–
    The irony is that there is some truth to that statement. Republicans sat down and negotiated, instead of blocking it.

    June 28, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    This guy does not know as to what he is saying. Very pathetic guy.

    June 28, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. Donkey Party

    What a lying piece of arrogant garbage. Prince Riebus trying to give the GOP credit for immigration reform is like trying to give the KKK credit for civil rights reform. Any Hispanic, or any nationality immigrant, or for that matter, any minority that supports the GOP is a traitor to their own race.

    June 28, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    LOL. Try to take credit all you want, GOPers/Teatrolls. The House Teatrolls are going to ruin any chance you might have had to share in the it.

    June 28, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. PaulCat

    Go ahead Priebus, make my day!

    June 28, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. JohnW

    Be honest now, how many of you looked at that picture and thought "Pee-Wee Herman is the head of the GOP now?"

    June 28, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. Donkey Party

    When will the "lamestream liberal media" do its job and debunk the lies by the GOP, when the GOP claims "the government isn't enforcing laws"? We all know the GOP's motive is to make the government out to be the bogeyman, but facts don't lie. Under the Obama administration, illegal immigration is at record lows, while deportations are at record highs. So how is it that laws aren't being enforced, when no GOP president has had remotely the same success as the current president regarding cracking down on illegal immigration? The media is just as complicit in spreading the lie as the GOP is.

    June 28, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  9. Zerubbabel

    How can the repubs possibly take credit for immigration reform? Just this past presidential election their candidates policy was self deportation. The senate bill that just passed, only 14 of 46 repub senators voted yea, 30 percent.The biggest joke though is the repub house tea party caucus, no way in the world will they allow America to become browner.

    June 28, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. ST

    These republicans especially this so-called leader are nuts. They always tell us they do not want the government to tell them what to do, BUT still they want to dominate us and tell us what is right and what is wrong. Why should everyone listen to them? What makes them be right and others be wrong?

    June 28, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. sassysticks53

    Priebus, challenged with making his party appealing to a Hispanic electorate that favored President Obama by a stunning 3-1 ratio in the 2012 election, credited Republicans for helping push the immigration bill over the Senate finish line.

    -------------------–
    Um, Mr. Priebus, your party won't be getting the hispanic vote in 2016 either! You can give the GOPTeaParty all the credit you want – still won't help you in 2016.

    June 28, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. Woman In California

    "One thing I think is pretty clear," Priebus told CNN. "We wouldn't have been in this place without Republicans being at the table pushing for immigration reform. And I think this conversation would never be happening without Marco Rubio."

    This statement depends solely on who you ask (or deliberately don't ask) now doesn't it?

    June 28, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    ""We wouldn't have been in this place without Republicans being at the table pushing for immigration reform."

    Haha. Pathetic. "We didn't obstruct this time" =/= "We deserve all the credit"

    June 28, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  14. tom l.

    I am trying to figure out why those on the left are so passionate about this for any other reason than they feel they will get more democratic votes (and because you just assume that they will all blindly go to the dems is inherently racist). I'm not calling them bad people for wanting to stay here (I get it. It's the greatest country in the world). But I can't get my arms around why they are so adament about passing this now for any reason other than political.
    And you guys on the left constantly frame it that way, too. It's all political. That all you care about. Politics. Shameful.

    June 28, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Your party needs immigration reform. WE, THE PEOPLE need the Voting Rights Act and not your party's attempts of surpressing the minority vote.

    June 28, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. Wake up People!

    I'm with Donkey Party, all the way. The 2012 GOP candidate for POTUS wanted self-deportation. The only reason they even considered immigration reform is because the Hispanic people overwhelmingly voted Democrat.

    They NEVER planned to even vote on this bill, let alone pass it.

    June 28, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  17. Illinois

    Hey Priebus.....Cutoff all government aid and services, healthcare and education, secure
    the border, eliminate anchor baby BS, deport illegal alien criminals
    until the border is secure, then deport the illegal alien criminals that
    remain. Then they can follow the legal way to enter our country after
    that. What is wrong with you liberals wanting to reward illegal alien
    criminals?!?!? Try sneaking into one of the countries the illegals came from; don't think you would enjoy it.

    June 28, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    America is in need of a great many things, Reince Preibus. Republican talking points issued out to garner political donations is one of "Those Things" America can do without. It has nearly ruined America. But, hey. Keep up the good work throwing those useless banalites you love so much out to the masses eager to gobble your words up as some sort of truth. It is amusing to watch GOPerville jump all over itself running from one blog to another repeating you (and others) day after day. Perhaps some day soon these same folks will wake up and realize what is really happening within the GOP. Then again ... perhaps not.

    June 28, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. Dumb Elephant Party

    If CIR = Pass, 2016->Donkey Win, Elephants Stay in Business, else
    2016->Donkeys Win, Elephants Outta Business

    and here is a message to Dumb Elephants: Denial is not a river in Egypt!

    June 28, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. tom l.

    @Dutch
    I'm game. Tell me about all of these new "voter suppression laws" that are being enacted. I'm so excited to hear these new laws and how they suppress votes.

    June 28, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. Peoples State of Illinois

    Republicans in the house now need to do the job they were voted in for, stop the amnesty. All amnesty will do, besides pardon law breakers, is increase the unemployment. With the incentive in Obama care for business to hire these new "residents," paychecks will decrease and unemployment will increase.

    June 28, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. Guess

    This is getting fun, this guy is in serious denial, there will not be a gop version that is viable, iy will carry a price tag that will turn us away, but if your willing to give 40 or 50 billion to gop contracters, and no citizenship, the ok, they will never allow a path to citizenship, they will set a goal then either change the way it is formulated so as to deny it, or put in place additional requirements, remember they all but make the laws, and remove the ones they dont like. get them out

    June 28, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  23. Guess

    Tom, texas is pushing voter id laws the very next day, wake up, unless your rich they hate you, but will lie to you everyday, on every issue, do some research, voter id laws are coming in every single gop state. fact, like it or not

    June 28, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "But I can't get my arms around why they are so adament [sic] about passing this now for any reason other than political."

    More deliberately and intentionally let's-pretend obtuseness from you, eh? The economic benefits are well studied and reported on. Fundamental fairness issues abound. Our behavior towards them runs contrary to our founding principles. And the practical reality is that we will never organize and can't afford the police state that it would require to "round them all up and send them home" like so much unwanted cattle. If you've missed all the cogent, well-articulated and oft repeated reasons people have cited to support immigration reform, it's not for them not having them and speaking them....it's because you just don't listen.

    Reality is, you're engaged in more projection. The big fear on the right is that allowing ay pathway to citizenship will crush the GOP irrevocably under a mountain of minority votes. It's why GOP-controlled states all over the country have been enacting all of their attempts, most of which were thrown out by courts, to attenuate minority voter registration and turnout. When you have TX immediately passing a new re-districting map demonstrably similar to one that was thrown out and states like NC and Missssippi and others all respnding to the SCOTUS's VRA ruling by immediately promising more legislation to change voting rights, procedures and electoral mapping, it telegraphs that they knew they couldn't push their plans past the preclearance requirements. They're implicitly admitting that they intend to try to restrict minority voting rights, disenfranchise them and dilute their voting power. Why? Because the GOP knows from the NUMBERS, from the stats, from the polls, etc., that it's the enormous demographic shifts that are ending white majority which are killing their future as a party.

    June 28, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Peoples State of Illinois

    ... ... With the incentive in Obama care for business to hire these new "residents," paychecks will decrease and unemployment will increase.
    -------------------------
    That's no typo, is it? 'If businesses hire new workers, then unemployment will increase.' It's that Limbaugh Logic again.

    June 28, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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