Today President Obama met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) at the White House to discuss immigration reform and how to move the legislation forward. Since the Senate has passed its immigration bill, the focus now moves to the House and strategies to work with the GOP leadership in producing a bill that will end up having the pathway to citizenship that the President and the Democrats insist must be in a bill. Today, Congressman Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), who is not a member of the CHC said that the Democrats would be to blame if they do not give on the pathway to citizenship.
Some of the initial responses from today’s meeting appear to be positive.
In a statement sent to the press, Senator Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey) said, “We discussed shared views on the next steps to take, and I was pleased to hear that the President’s public strategy will include speaking directly to the American people about the importance of comprehensive immigration reform with a clear pathway to citizenship while underscoring the vast economic benefits of this common sense legislation.” Menendez also encouraged his Republican colleagues to “do the right thing” and pass the bipartisan bill.
Congressman Raul Ruiz (D-California) talked about how to build upon the bipartisan work that has come out of the Senate saying, “In our meeting with President Obama today, we discussed how we can build on the bipartisan work of the Senate and pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation in the House that includes an earned path to citizenship, secures our borders, promotes fairness, protects our workers and businesses, and helps strengthen our economy, especially our local agriculture and tourism economies in the 36th District.”
Rep. Jim Costa (D-California) tweeted, “Productive meeting w/ Pres., VP, & @HispanicCaucus. Frank about obstacles to passing #CIR but we’re ready to work w/ other side of aisle.”
Today the House Republicans also met on immigration reform, and the GOP leadership released its statement saying that it will not take up the Senate immigration bill.
The joint statement from the GOP leadership states, “The American people want our border secured, our laws enforced, and the problems in our immigration system fixed to strengthen our economy. But they don’t trust a Democratic-controlled Washington, and they’re alarmed by the president’s ongoing insistence on enacting a single, massive, Obamacare-like bill rather than pursuing a step-by-step, common-sense approach to actually fix the problem. The president has also demonstrated he is willing to unilaterally delay or ignore significant portions of laws he himself has signed, raising concerns among Americans that this administration cannot be trusted to deliver on its promises to secure the border and enforce laws as part of a single, massive bill like the one passed by the Senate.”