House Republicans prepare immigration overhaul plan

US flagThe Republican leadership team in the House of Representatives, together with Speaker John Boehner, are preparing to reveal their principles for a comprehensive overhaul of the immigration system in the United States later this month, Boehner informed his members on Wednesday at a closed-door conference.

The imminent release of what Boehner has called the “standards or principles document” indicates a broader push inside the Republican conference to have its own principles put forward as counterpoint to the legislation that was passed last year by the Democratic-led Senate.  Boehner assured his team at the meeting that there were no plans to negotiate with the Senate over their broad bill, preferring a step-by-step, piecemeal approach to immigration reform.

The effort from the Speaker’s office has been spearheaded by Rebecca Tallent, Senator John McCain’s long time immigration advisor who was recently hired by Boehner, in conjunction with a number of other key Republican lawmakers such as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor from Virginia, Mario Diaz-Balart from Florida, House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob W Goodlatte and House Budget Committee chairman Paul D Ryan from Wisconsin, who was also the party choice for Vice President in 2012.

Pressure for change is also coming from outside groups, including the US Chamber of Commerce and the president and chief executive officer, Thomas J Donahue, who gave an annual address on Wednesday promising to “pull out all the stops” to get House Republicans to move on the Senate bill.