In a move that seems to have bolstered the prospects for successful immigration reform in the United States, Republican Paul Ryan has predicted that the House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Republican party, will approve a pathway to citizenship in spite of opposition from some hard-line conservatives.
The comments from Ryan, who was a vice-presidential candidate for the Republican party last year as well as being the House Budget Committee chairman, come as the Senate, which is controlled by the Democrats, plunges into a three-week debate aimed at allowing the immigration reform bill to pass the floor by 4th July. If the bill gains a large enough majority there, the legislation should have generated enough in the way of momentum to be able to overcome right-wing opponents that have lambasted it for being “amnesty” for illegal border crossers.
The hopes have been lent support because of the comments made by Ryan, who is an influential conservative voice, telling an audience in Washington DC that the House “can and will deal with” the issue of earned legalization. Ryan dismissed the amnesty criticisms, noting that there are a number of stringent conditions that undocumented immigrants have to be able to meet, such as passing a criminal background check and the payment of back taxes and fines.
“Amnesty is wiping the slate clean and forgetting any penalty that was once there,” Ryan says. “Nobody is suggesting that takes place.”