House group agrees on immigration reform
May 16th, 2013
06:58 PM ET
10 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. James Ruston

    "The House needs to work its will." says the Speaker. That ends immigration reform, except maybe to insure that the farmers get cheap labor.

    May 17, 2013 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  2. Anonymous

    Good. I want to get my GC soon. I have a 8 yr queue. This will reduce the queue to zero.

    May 17, 2013 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  3. Berry Holland

    Once it was only our fruits and vegatables we could not find labor to pick. Now it appears the construction industry can't find American Citizens willing to work, What next? Police, Fireman, Teachers, what about Doctors and Nurses? Will we not reach the point that they to will have to be brought in to fill positions for Obama Care when those industries also say we can't find workes at the wage we are willing to pay?
    We already can't find qualified workers in the computer tech industry.
    Folks this is not what this is all about. It's about big Industries and even small that have learned that they can demand workers that are willing to take less than a LIVING WAGE and let our social wellfare programs pay for their housing, food and medical needs. This is the new SLAVERY in America even the Plantation Master had to feed, cloth and house his slaves.
    Let them pass another Immigration Bill and it will do the same thing the lasy 7 since 1986 have only bring in more. more and more.

    May 17, 2013 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  4. Vence

    Cheney is right! Republicans are in big doo-doo on this one.
    First they alienated the biggest voting block for years. When I say years is after Reagan.
    Now if they approve the immigration reform they will lose presidential elections for the next 25 years.
    If they don't. They will lose presidential election for 100 years or more.

    May 17, 2013 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  5. Name Ron

    No amnesty

    May 17, 2013 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  6. skipper

    How about repealing the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 as part of immigration reform? How about ending automatic birth citizenship as part of immigration reform? How about ending chain migration, which incidentally is mathematically unsustainable, as part of immigration reform? How about bannign Sanctuary City policies as part of immigration reform?

    May 17, 2013 04:03 am at 4:03 am |
  7. TruthandConsequence

    Can it possibly be a coincidence that 50% of this bi-partisan House Committee are Hispanics? Isn't that like asking the fox to guard the hen house?

    May 17, 2013 04:09 am at 4:09 am |
  8. presisamonkey

    I am a taxpayer. I don't want reform! I want enforcement!

    May 17, 2013 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  9. suqmuhdiq

    not born here? no green card? sending money back home? then you should get out of our country and stop sucking the life out of our systems designed for LEGAL AMERICANS that work hard to make it here.

    Learn the language, ENGLISH.
    Stop making this into the UNITED STATES of MEXICO.
    It is time for a cleansing.

    May 17, 2013 07:10 am at 7:10 am |

    They also blew away 55 million tax dollars for a stunt repeal of The Affordable Care Law. 2014 comes quickly for the Guns Over People tea potty.

    May 17, 2013 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  11. Name lynn

    It took the white house leaders long enough to pass the immigrations bills, the bill wa going to pass anyway because obama is the president after all.

    May 17, 2013 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  12. smitvict

    At least the republican house is capable of producing a bipartisan bill of value.

    May 17, 2013 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  13. Dave

    Well, it is good that something is going well.

    May 17, 2013 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  14. BostonBob

    No to amnesty.

    May 17, 2013 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  15. JOE

    NO AMNESTY for the ILLEGALS! Why should these criminals be rewarded when others are not? Illegals contribute NOTHING to our society. On the other hand, they suppress wages and steal jobs that should go to Americans not criminals. And all this time I thought "U.S. representatives" were supposed to represent Americans, not criminals from Mexico!

    May 17, 2013 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  16. Jim

    Secure the border 1st!

    May 17, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  17. Norm Chadwick

    What's in the bill being proposed. it is important for US CITIZENS to be informed so we can tell our representatives if we support it or not. In all of this in appears the US CITIZENS are not given the opportunity to decide if this is what we want.

    May 17, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |

    The gop loves cheap labor, keeps your wages down. but they dont want you to vote, never, never want you to vote, the gop does everything in its power to bring your standard of living down, and subsequently theirs up, lord knows the need a higher standard of living, poor fellas. ever wonder why men with ssoooo much money, never seem to be happy, always working for yet greater wealth, where does it end? how much is enough?

    May 17, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  19. trishw

    NO AMNESTY for Illegal immigrants. Send them home and they may apply through proper channels and procedures. It is NOT ok to break the law or for anyone to change the law to make it ok to do so.

    May 17, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  20. Al-NY,NY

    Yeah right....just wait.....the GOP'ers will come up with some new "we need Benghazi this" or "IRS documents that" or whatever to sabotage it at the last minute and then try to blame Obama

    May 17, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  21. Jim

    How about Secu-ring the Bo__rder fir_st ?

    May 17, 2013 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  22. Tenie

    "everyting free in America" unless you're an American, in which case you will support the leeches forever, and have no rights yourself.

    May 17, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  23. Hoss

    We'll all be speaking spanish by 2015...GO AMERICA! Or should I coll it SPAMERICA! As in Spanish America

    May 17, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  24. Berry Holland

    Folks!Folks!Folks! The real problem of enforcement is easy. Stop all commerce with Mexico untill they stop the flow of Illeagles. No goods raw material or services entering from Mexico until they take care of their social walfare system instead of shipping it north of the border.

    May 17, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  25. bigbiz

    "Whether or not Mexican citizens would get free heathcare from borrowed money on the backs of our children and grandchildren you mean"? That lying stooge Rubio has been on radio and TV saying they would not get any benefits..
    What a horrible bunch of human beings...

    May 17, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
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