October 28th, 2013
04:08 PM ET
6 months ago

GOP Rep: Many House Republicans will sign onto immigration bill

Washington (CNN) - The only House Republican to so far sign onto a Democratic immigration bill in the lower chamber thinks he will soon be joined by many other Republicans.

Asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer Monday how many other Republicans will sign onto the House bill, Rep. Jeff Denham answered that "I'm confident we're going to get a huge number of Republicans," he said, although "the ultimate number I think remains to be defined."

The immigration bill in question has 185 Democrats signed on as co-sponsors. The Republican co-sponsors? One, Denham, a California Republican whose central-valley district is 40% Latino.

Like its Senate-passed cousin that Speaker John Boehner has refused to bring up, the House bill includes a pathway to citizenship for most of the nation's 11 million estimated undocumented migrants. At minimum, that pathway would take 13 years, with 10 years just to become a legal permanent resident.

The difference between the House and Senate versions, Denham said, is border security. While the Senate bill greatly expanded the U.S. Border Patrol, it included little or no requirements for exactly how much the flow of undocumented workers must be stunted before the pathway to citizenship can even begin. That lack of metrics, along with a pathway to citizenship labeled as amnesty for lawbreakers by many in the GOP, has caused House Republicans to swear off the Senate version. They favor a piecemeal approach with multiple bills.

"We have now added the Republican version to this bill, that addresses that border security with real metrics, guaranteeing that we have a solid, over 90 percent success rate before we even implement the rest," including the pathway, Denham said on "CNN Newsroom," calling the bill "a bipartisan solution."

Rubio favors House approach over immigration bill he helped author

The new House immigration bill is called "The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act," or bill H.R. 15. It includes Denham's ENLIST Act which would allow for qualified undocumented immigrants to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and thus earn their citizenship at an accelerated rate.

Immigration reform was placed on the backburner after the Senate bill passed in June. It has seen a new push after President Barack Obama made a renewed call for reform last week.

Whether or not the push will reach the ears of House Republicans remains to be seen. Only a few Republicans have districts with a strong presence of Latino voters, such as Denham.

Denham shrugged off the suggestion Monday that he is breaking ranks from the rest of the House GOP.

"This is to focus the House on getting real reform done this year," Denham said of his co-sponsorship. Whether one bill or many, "my focus is to make sure we have a solution this year."


Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. O'drama ya Mama

    Ahh the next course on the Republican buffet line. Lets see what they flavor him with before they cannibalize another one of their own.

    October 28, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. sonny chapman

    Might take only 1 Mule Kick to the head(2012) for Repubs. to learn that lesson.

    October 28, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Tampa Tim

    I thought the Kochs were against reform. I think a couple of goopers are going to get primaried.

    October 28, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. Randy, San Francisco

    Rep Denham can support immigration reform because of the large nuimber of Hispanic voters in his district and the Top Two Candidates Primary election system in California. The top two candidates in the primary regardless of party affillitation go on to face each other in the general election. This makes candidates appeal to a broader and more moderate spectrum of voters. Rep Denham need not fear challenges from Tea Party extremists in the primary.

    October 28, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    What will Ricky McDaniel say? " They should be voted out, they are not doing what they were elected to do. CNN needs to stop the lies!" See, we already know what the little seccessionist will say, so now anyone can put one of Ricky's patented idiotic comments in and get it over with, so people with real opinions across the spectrum can have a real discussion.

    October 28, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. rs

    What Denham ascerts may be one thing, but for the GOP, Immigration is a must-deal-with issue. Demographics are changing rapidly in the U.S, and without some (any?) minority voters, the GOP will be permanently relegated to second tier status.
    The question is however, the GOP knows they are in trouble with minorities and women, but they seem incapable of actually doing anything about that situation. They say they are in an outreach mode, but that seems to front for their efforts to take away voting rights from Democrats (a la North Carolina).

    October 28, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. Wake up People!

    185 dems and 1 republican. Don't hold your breath dude.

    October 28, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. 2012liberal

    U know if it's not a majority of majority, hassart rule, it wont make it 2 the floor! That's just the way bohner chooses 2 run his house. S.O.L

    October 28, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    -just saying

    Peters said Terremark had "experienced a failure in a networking component," and the attempted fix crashed the system.

    translation: the guy tripped over the power cord and yanked it out of the pentium 3 personal computer driving the entire obamacare web site! bwahhahahahaha!!! hey what do you expect for a billion dollar government web site? if you want state of the art, that'll cost you $10 trillion.
    *****************
    Oh, look kids, a Republican tried to make a funny. You know what we would really like to see? A GOP lawmaker actually working on something other than covering up their own criminal lack of ideas: think that will ever happen, bootlicker?

    October 28, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy NYC
    2010 saw the birther movement growing by leaps and bounds. 2010 was the height of the Tea Party's ilnfluence. They had campaigned on jobs, but signed that "spending" pledge on or about Sept. 29, 2010. Boehenr rolled it out, and then promptly rolled it back up
    -------------------------------------------------
    I beg to differ Rudy, but I do believe that 2010 was the year that a lot of Teatards were ELECTED into the House. I do not believe that their influence manifested itself until AFTER they were in the House and positioned themselves to drive the train wreck that is what's left of the GOP.
    It sounds to me Rudy like you think the President should push for something that would be of "interest" to us all., that way when the Teatards in the house shoot down his efforts, as they predictably will, the voters, ALL of the voters, will have something else to remember the Teatards by come 2014 and summarily reject them.
    You seem to think that immigration is not that "something".
    I can actually understand and agree with that Rudy. Immigration is not a priority for a everyone. Jobs are.
    You could've said that last Friday when this whole exchange got started Rudy!
    And lastly, might I suggest that if you're referencing something in the manner that someone other than yourself would(i.e. the right wing in this instance) that you use captions? "Private agenda" would've let me know that you were using someone else's terminology.

    October 28, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. Marie MD

    Now I get it. Rafael ted bin laden is seen by the crazy right as the second coming.
    It turns out that king from Iowa believes that dog fighting is okay. Why not, after all the dogs are made to fight just like people actually making the decision to fight. I guess he forgot how the dogs are trained to fight and how they fight to the death. I am pretty sure king of iowa is a fan of vick of the Eagles.
    As far as accidents while hunting . . . . accidents happen according to teddy and king from Iowa.

    October 28, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  12. Data Driven

    @Real Tom Paine,

    "Oh, look kids, a Republican tried to make a funny. "

    Yeah, I've noticed this as well. A lot of jokes to cover a complete lack of knowledge of any subject, most particularly Obamacare.

    October 28, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Ahh the next course on the Republican buffet line. Lets see what they flavor him with before they cannibalize another one of their own.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Salsa.

    October 28, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. Ol' Yeller

    @Randy in SF
    "Top Two Candidates Primary election system in California. The top two candidates in the primary regardless of party affillitation go on to face each other in the general election. This makes candidates appeal to a broader and more moderate spectrum of voters."

    What kind of dumb system is that!?! You mean a person could agree to represent all his consitiutents to the best of his ability and wouldn't have to worry about two billionare loons fron another state pumping enough money into another person's candidacy to gin up a bunch of fringe idi ots to win a preomary and then go on to buy the general election so they can hold one of our legislative bodies hostage and waste billions of taxpayer dollars only to ultimately fail in their crazed and misguided attempts to avert the law?
    Sounds like a bunch od Socialists or something :)

    October 28, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  15. vic , nashville ,tn

    Now GOP have one way route to White House that is pass the senate Immigration bill

    October 28, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. smith

    Immigration reform-Build a giant wall with razor wire and 100 yards of land mines in front and behind. Everyone already in gets to stay in. Problem solved.

    October 28, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |