In Washington, House Republicans have outlined their immigration proposal. This comes after President Obama and bipartisan group of senators offered plans to strengthen the borders and deal with the millions of undocumented immigrants already in the United States. As Washington, D.C. bureau reporter Michael Scotto explains, it's what to do about those 11 million people that seems to be the biggest challenge.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Protesters disrupted a House Judiciary Committee Hearing on Immigration reform Tuesday, but their words did not appear to sway a number of House Republicans who appeared skeptical of plans to map out a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.
“Whatever else we disagree on, I think we would agree on that that's a more toxic contentious issue, granting full amnesty,” said Alabama Representative Spencer Bachus.
Instead, some in the GOP are looking for other options.
“Do you see any compromise area between the current status quo and a path to citizenship?” Texas Representative Lamar Smith asked.
One idea involves breaking up immigration reform and tackling it piece by piece. Among Republicans, there appears to be agreement on giving visas to highly-skilled immigrants. But some Democrats think a fragmented approach misses the point.
“The issue of skilled of immigrants is an important one, but just a piece of the puzzle as it relates to how do we create an immigration system that more fully is more consistent with the values that we have as Americans,” said New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries.
Despite partisan differences over how to proceed, there is a growing consensus that something needs to be done. And in a hopeful sign for immigration advocates, some top Republicans are softening their tone.
On Tuesday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor endorsed giving citizenship to young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers.
“It is time to provide an opportunity for legal residence and citizenship for those who were brought to this country as children and know no other home,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said.
In the coming days, the debate could have new parameters, once a bipartisan group of House lawmakers unveils its plan to tackle immigration reform.