John Boehner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, said Thursday that his chamber would be charting its own path on the issue of immigration reform and not just consider the measure passed by the Senate, effectively quashing Democrat hopes that the landmark legislation could be quickly enacted.
“While we applaud the progress made by our Senate colleagues, there are numerous ways in which the House will approach the issue differently,” Boehmer says. “We will not simply take up and accept the bill that is emerging in the Senate if it passes.”
The full Senate is expected to begin debating the new immigration bill in June, with the bill intending to put an end to the fear of deportation that is faced by as many as 11 million undocumented immigrants and see the great majority of them put on a 13-year pathway to US citizenship. Senate leaders are hoping to be able to hold a vote about the bill by the end of next month, but it is uncertain how many Republicans in the House will embrace this idea, which many regard as being an “amnesty” for people who are in the country on expired US visas or who arrived by illegal methods.
Even with the growing political power of Hispanic Americans and broad support for immigration reform by the public, the immigration bill is expected to have a tougher time passing the House, which is much more conservative than the Senate and is controlled by the Republicans.