Republicans enraged by the decision by President Obama to use his executive powers to stop millions of undocumented immigrants being deported are planning to enact their own immigration reform legislation next year to discourage further undocumented immigrants crossing over into the United States by strengthening the border between the US and Mexico.
Aides to Republican leaders in the House of Representatives say that the move is likely to take place early in the New Year and could lead to the House taking other steps to change the country’s current immigration legislation. The surprise news comes after 18 months of congressional stalling following the Senate’s passing of a comprehensive reform bill that failed to make it to a vote in the House.
The effort is likely to be overseen by Michael McCaul, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, who has been pushing for legislation to impose harsher standards for undocumented immigrants apprehended at the border. Republican representative Mario Diaz-Balart, a long-time supporter of immigration reform, believes that his party has finally come to the realization that the issue of immigration reform is not one that is simply going to disappear.
“I want it to start in the House,” says Republican senator John McCain, another advocate for reform. McCain believes that the first pieces of legislation that could be enacted by the House of Representatives next year include improving border security and expanding the number of US visas available to high-tech workers from overseas.