Immigration Reform 2013: Will the House Kill the Bill?

Sometime in the very near future, hopefully this next month, a bipartisan group of four Democrats and four Republican representatives will introduce the House version of comprehensive immigration reform. That effort has been placed in jeopardy of being sabotaged by the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).

Rather than taking a comprehensive approach, Goodlatte and other GOP members of the House prefer to take a slower approach. They believe immigration reform should be tackled one symptom at a time. Based on this belief, Goodlatte plans to begin this process by introducing two bills, one addressing a temporary agricultural guest worker program and the other the use of E-Verify system to ensure workers are legally allowed to work in this country. Given that any immigration reform legislation would have to go through the Judiciary Committee, Goodlatte is definitely in the spoiler position.

How this issue proceeds is now up to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio). According to House rules, it is his responsibility to refer bills to committee. As part of this process, the speaker must decide if he will use what is known as the Hassert Rule to determine which method to support. Circumventing the Hassert Rule and advancing a bill that does not have support of the majority of the majority party members can be politically damaging and have the unintended consequences of preventing any bill from advancing. There has also been talk that the speaker will bypass the committee process and bring proposed legislation directly to the floor of the House.

If the House decides to move forward using a piecemeal approach, immigration reform will, for all intent and purpose, be dead. Key Senators from the Gang of Eight as well as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) have stated they will not support a piecemeal approach.

Details of the House bipartisan plan have not been released. Leaks have been virtually non-existent. What has been revealed is that the plan will be tougher than the Senate proposal. But tougher would not most likely prevent comprehensive immigration reform from reaching a conference committee.

The fate of immigration reform rests with House Republicans. The Congress and the country await the speaker's decision.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Douglas Goodman

Retired military and Quality Assurance / Warehouse Operations and Distribution Manager. Have enjoyed politics since the Kennedy/Nixon debates. Besides good political discussions, I've been involved in campaigns at all levels as well as having served on school, city, and county committees and boards. Been called weird because I enjoy reading government legislation and other government rules and regulations.

MORE FROM

Kshama Sawant on why Seattle needs an independent investigation into the Charleena Lyles shooting

Seattle City Councilperson Kshama Sawant, member of Socialist Alternative party, discusses the Charleena Lyles investigation, tenant voter registration, why Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 and more.

The EPA seeks to undo clean water rule, putting 117 million Americans' water at risk

The new rule could have "long-reaching consequences for everyone living in the United States.”

This small Ohio town might stop treating heroin overdoses to save the city money

"People will die. It's plain and simple."

Here's what New York's first official LGBTQ monument will look like

Here's our first look at New York's new monument to LGBT communities.

How will Trump's travel ban be enforced? Here's what the Supreme Court's decision really means.

The Supreme Court's order prevents most of the ban from taking effect before the case is heard, with limited exceptions.

Tick saliva could be the key to fighting a dangerous heart condition

Ticks could hold the secret to treating this heart condition.

Kshama Sawant on why Seattle needs an independent investigation into the Charleena Lyles shooting

Seattle City Councilperson Kshama Sawant, member of Socialist Alternative party, discusses the Charleena Lyles investigation, tenant voter registration, why Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 and more.

The EPA seeks to undo clean water rule, putting 117 million Americans' water at risk

The new rule could have "long-reaching consequences for everyone living in the United States.”

This small Ohio town might stop treating heroin overdoses to save the city money

"People will die. It's plain and simple."

Here's what New York's first official LGBTQ monument will look like

Here's our first look at New York's new monument to LGBT communities.

How will Trump's travel ban be enforced? Here's what the Supreme Court's decision really means.

The Supreme Court's order prevents most of the ban from taking effect before the case is heard, with limited exceptions.

Tick saliva could be the key to fighting a dangerous heart condition

Ticks could hold the secret to treating this heart condition.