If the House is going to act on immigration reform this year, Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, will be the one responsible for actually drafting the legislation. The committee has already approved four bills that address border security, interior enforcement, guest-worker visas, and high-skilled-worker visas. Additional legislation to deal with thornier issues such as legal status, or possible citizenship, for illegal immigrants will likely be necessary to secure a final compromise with Senate Democrats and the White House.
National Review Online reached out to Goodlatte’s office several times regarding the drafting of new legislation, the possibility of that legislation being drafted this year, and whether or not Chairman Goodlatte had ruled out that possibility. The responses from a committee aide suggest that he hasn’t.
The aide initially responded by saying that Goodlatte is “not working on any other immigration bills at this time.” When pressed as to whether or not the chairman would rule it out, the aide gave essentially the same answer: “The Committee has already approved four bills, and again, the Chairman is not drafting additional legislation at this time.”
It’s understandable, of course, for politicians to keep their options open. But it also underscores the point that the media doom and gloom surrounding immigration reform in the House is entirely overblown.