Two Republicans in the House of Representatives have given their endorsement to a comprehensive immigration reform bill that would give the immigration system of the United States a radical overhaul. The Act is essentially much the same as the bill that was passed by the Senate back in June, which was drafted by the famous bipartisan Gang of Eight.
On October 26th Republican Jeff Denham from California announced his endorsement for the Act, known as the Border Security Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act 2013. On October 29th of the same month he was joined by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, who also announced her support for the Act. “It’s important to keep the conversation going in trying to fix the broken immigration system,” Ros-Lehtinen said in her statement. “I favor any approach that will help us move the negotiations forward. Other Members may soon produce a bipartisan product that may also deserve support and I’m cautiously optimistic that we can pass meaningful immigration reform.”
Denham and Ros-Lehtinen are so far the only members of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives to have given their backing to the Act openly. Of the 435 seats of the House, the Democrats hold 200, while the Republicans hold 231.
Tensions remain high in Washington, however, and many stringent Republicans are reluctant to engage in negotiation with President Obama, blaming him for the recent government shutdown. This flies in the face of public opinion, with a recent CNN poll showing that 75% of Americans place the blame firmly at the feet of the Republican Party.