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Bipartisan immigration push

"Bipartisan immigration push" Continued...

Republicans have already backpedalled on some of their priorities since suffering defeat in last year’s election: the Jan.1 fiscal cliff deal delayed spending cuts that had already been put off for 18 months while the House last week voted to raise the debt ceiling for three months. It was a quiet vote compared to the uproar fiscal conservatives caused two years ago over raising the federal government’s borrowing power.

But former presidential candidate and Tea Party favorite Herman Cain endorsed the immigration deal on his radio show Monday while the American Conservative Union (ACU) released a statement urging the House to follow suit.

“As a result of the White House Executive Orders last year, we now have a defacto amnesty status which can only be fixed through legislation,” said ACU head Al Cardenas.

At least one important House Republican indicated Monday that he would not block the plan.

"The current immigration system is broken and inspires confidence in no one," said Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chair of the House immigration subcommittee. "So, proposals which balance the humanity which defines us as a people with respect for the rule of law which defines us as a republic are welcome."

But Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, who also sits on the immigration subcommittee, issued his own warning against amnesty.

"When you legalize those who are in the country illegally, it costs taxpayers millions of dollars, costs American workers thousands of jobs and encourages more illegal immigration,” he said in a statement. “By granting amnesty, the Senate proposal actually compounds the problem by encouraging more illegal immigration."

Edward Lee Pitts
Edward Lee Pitts

Lee is WORLD's Washington Bureau chief. As a reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, he was embedded with a National Guard unit in Iraq. He also once worked in the press office of Sen. Lamar Alexander.

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