House Chairman Pledges Action on Immigration

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday pledged action on immigration overhaul legislation even as most of the attention on Capitol Hill is focused on fights over the budget and debt. Rep. Bob Goodlatte said the immigration issue needs to be solved and work is happening behind the scenes toward that goal.

His committee already has approved a bill on agricultural workers, one on high-skilled visas, a third to strengthen immigration laws and empower state and local governments to enforce them, and a fourth to require employers to verify their workers’ legal status.

The approach stands in contrast to the Democratic-led Senate, which passed a single, far-reaching bill in June including billions for border security, new legal work visa programs and a path to citizenship for the immigrants already in the country illegally.

“We are taking what we call a step-by-step approach. We have objections to the Senate bill, but we don’t say we want to kill the Senate bill,” Goodlatte said at a gathering organized by House Republicans with Hispanic Republican leaders to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month. “We say we want to do immigration reform right.”