The Corner

Re: Goodlatte Boosts the Gang of Eight?

A recent story published on National Review Online leads readers to believe I support the Senate immigration bill. But nothing could be further from the truth. From the outset, I have made it clear that the Senate immigration bill is a non-starter in the House. House Republican leadership has echoed my sentiments on numerous occasions. Anonymous congressional aides mentioned in the article cannot change these facts and show how ill-informed they are by trying to do so, since I have been saying the same thing about immigration reform all year long.

The Gang of Eight bill is fundamentally flawed and unworkable, because it repeats the mistakes made in past immigration overhauls. Among my many concerns, the Senate bill gives legal status before enforcement is up and operating, provides a special pathway to citizenship for those who have broken our immigration laws, and allows the president to waive many, if not most, of the bill’s internal enforcement requirements. More of my concerns can be found here.

Unlike the Senate, the House Judiciary Committee is taking a step-by-step approach to immigration reform, carefully and methodically reviewing each component in detail so that we get it right. Any immigration reform must first guarantee the enforcement of our immigration laws and secure the border.  Then, we must also improve our legal immigration system and find a way to deal with unlawful immigrants.

To accomplish these goals and ensure we avoid the mistakes of the past, the House Judiciary Committee has convened a dozen immigration hearings, held numerous educational briefings for members of Congress on our immigration laws, and approved four bills that strengthen the enforcement of our immigration laws and improve our legal immigration system. It’s crucial that we take the time to get immigration reform right rather than rush to pass another massive, Obamacare-like bill. I’ve outlined the House approach here, here, and here.

Once the House majority is satisfied with the process and that we’ve gotten the components right, we will proceed to consideration on the House floor. Any final product must reflect conservative principles and be supported by a majority of the House Republican majority.

— Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

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