Democrats want to link immigration reform to border bill

US FlagDemocrats in the Senate are warning that they may try to attach the comprehensive immigration bill passed by the Senate last year to the package if Republicans in the House of Representatives pass a stripped-down bill to deal with the border crisis.

The Senate’s $3.57bn border legislation seems unlikely to get past a procedural vote today; however, if the House succeeds in passing its own $659m package later in the week, Democrats in the Senate may try to get their 2013 immigration reform bill attached to this legislation.  “If they pass that, maybe it’s an opening for us to have a conference on our comprehensive immigration reform if they’re finally sending us something on immigration,” says Senate majority leader Harry Reid.

John Boehner, the speaker of the House of Representatives, has slammed the notion, saying that the House would sternly reject any attempt to jam the House with the Senate’s immigration bill and calling such a move “deceitful and cynical”.  “Such measures have no place in the effort to solve this crisis,” Boehner explained.  “And any attempt to exploit this crisis by adding such measures will run into a brick wall in the People’s House.”

The move by the Democrats would also derail the House Republican’s package for the border crisis, which was released yesterday; the House Republican leadership would need every vote to get the legislation passed.  Reid insists that his comments are not intended to be seen as a threat to the House’s bill.