With the debate over immigration reform having started up again this week, members of the House of Representatives need to decide on the sort of approach to reform that they will be able to agree on. The legislation crafted by the bipartisan Gang of Eight may not be acceptable to conservatives, which has resulted in House members considering a more piecemeal approach to the issue, which would result in the immigration bill being split up into different sections.
“No decision has been made about what we do with what’s produced by the Gang of Eight,” claims Chairman Bob Goodlatte. “For one thing, it hasn’t been produced, therefore we don’t know how popular it will be with various members of the House, and we also don’t know what it contains or how it will work with the (committee’s) plans.”
Supporters of the immigration reform bill say that they are confident that even with the recent criticism the House of Representatives will still accept it, noting that the equal path to US citizenship is by far the most important aspect of the bill and while Senate members accept that some aspects may need to be changed, that crucial factor will remain.
“The final bill won’t be exactly what passed out of the committee,” admits Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, who adds, however, that the matter of true importance is to make sure that there is a pathway to citizenship for the great majority of people in a way that strengthens and benefits the US.