AILA Doc No. 13042561 | Dated April 25, 2013
On 04/25/13 at 9:00am ET Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Chair of the House Judiciary committee, and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Chair of the Immigration Subcommittee, will announce the way forward for the House Judiciary Committee regarding immigration reform in 2013.
9:08am Rep. Goodlatte (R-VA) takes the podium and begins the conference:
"America is a nation of immigrants…and a nation of laws. Any immigration reform bill must honor both. Our immigration system today is broken…and we have 11 million people living in the shadow." "This is about real people, with real problems trying to provide a better life for their families." "The way forward is for Congress to pass immigration reform through regular order." "We have to avoid the same mistakes form the past, we are all aware of the failure of the 1986 overhaul." "We were promised tougher enforcement in exchange for legalization of 3 million people. American people wants to know how we will avoid this problem this time around."
"House Judiciary committee will examine immigration in a step-by-step approach. We are reaching out to members of the House and holding briefing sections for them." "We are not drawing any conclusions on what the best solutions are." "We are watching the Senate Gang of Eight bill closer, we believe the appropriate thing is for the House to start this process." So starting this week we will begin introducing multiple pieces of legislation dealing with individual issues of immigration reform.
"We are interested in what the House Gang of Eight produces, they having been working on this for a very, very long time. When we see what they produce, we will work with the House Gang of Eight to see how what they've produced works with the individual pieces of legislation and ultimately what the will of the House Judiciary committee is. "We are going to take positive, affirmative action to address the broken immigration system in this country." "This process can be long, but it will allow every member of Congress to have their constituents' voices heard. Taking a fine tooth comb through each individual issue will get us a better bill." "The first two standalone bills that will be introduced this week are a temporary guest worker agriculture program and instituting mandatory e-verify. Committee hearings will be held on these bill, I want to emphasize that this is what we have decided to do at this point, but have not made decisions on how to proceed on a legislative mark-up." "The three issues that we will need to address are: legal immigration, enforcement, and the 11 million people without legal status."
9:15am Trey Gowdy takes the podium.
"The best result or product is sometimes mitigated by a process that is less than confidence inspiring. For those of us who are interested in a remedy that will sustain us for a lifetime I am convinced that the time spent cross examining all aspects of this issue will be well worth it."
9:18am Questions from reporters-these are only Rep. Goodlatte's answers:
G: We are looking at interest at what the Senate is doing with legalization and citizenship for 11 million, but are unable to tell you how that will unfold at this point.
G: Our hope is that we will be able to accomplish that-we will spend the time to listen to members, hold hearings on specific legislative text and ideas, but it's not possible to give you a legislative mark-up schedule.
G: Election years are more difficult than no-election years, but it is far more important that we get it right this time [in response to a question quoting Rep. Labrador (R-ID) saying that if reform doesn't happen this year, it won't happen at all.]
G: We have been speaking with members of the House Gang of Eight and I have been encouraging them, what they can agree on in a bipartisan fashion will be very helpful, but no agreement has been reached about how we will proceed with that legislation.
G: Individual bills allow us to examine how bills will work with each other and how they can fit together.
G: These are two pieces of [House] legislation that will have bipartisan support.
G: I prefer to see not a special path to citizenship, but something that gives them a legal status, but it will depend on what is done with enforcement and what is done with the legal immigration system.
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 13042561.