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Thread: Florida Republican tries to keep immigration reform prospects alive

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Florida Republican tries to keep immigration reform prospects alive

    Florida Republican tries to keep immigration reform prospects alive

    By Jeremy Wallace, Herald-Tribune
    / Wednesday, November 13, 2013

    U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami

    The Florida Republican who has arguably invested more time and energy into passing an immigration reform bill in the House is not taking kindly to House Speaker John Boehner’s more recent comments on the issue.

    U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, sent out a rare press release in which he essentially challenges Boehner’s declaration that the House will not compromise with the Senate-passed immigration reform bill in what is called a conference committee.

    “We have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill,” Boehner said.

    Many see the statement as another sign that immigration reform is unlikely to pass the Republican-led U.S. House.

    But Boehner’s remarks are not going over well with Diaz-Balart, who has been deeply involved in bipartisan negotiations over immigration for years.

    “I remain steadfast in the fact that the House needs to take up immigration reform,” Diaz-Balart said. “I urge Speaker Boehner to remain open to any options that allow us to solve this crucial issue.”

    Earlier this year, the Senate passed an immigration reform bill with the help of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, that toughens the border with Mexico and reforms the nation’s visa program. Some conservatives Republicans have fought against that bill because it gives undocumented immigrants in the U.S. now a pathway to citizenship.

    Rubio has argued that there needs to be a process where undocumented immigrants come forward, undergo a background check, pay a fine, start paying taxes, and eventually can apply for a green card. Not reforming the system essentially continues to allow 11 million undocumented workers to continuing living in a form of de facto amnesty, he has argued.

    Diaz-Balart said the immigration system has to be reformed.

    “It has been said time and time again that our immigration system is broken, and we must come together to find a sensible solution to fix it,” he said. “I continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on a bill that secures our border, respects the rule of law, strengthens our economy, modernizes the visa system, and addresses the millions of undocumented immigrants in a way that is both reasonable and humane.”

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