A House bipartisan group working on a comprehensive immigration bill is “very close” to putting forward a package, according to one of its members.
“We’ve really resolved all the of the truly contentious issues,” said Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., on Jansing & Co. Wednesday.
Among the most contentious issues he mentioned: What to do with the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are already here, employer enforcement, a proper way to determine who is legal and who is not, border security, and a guest-worker program.
“One of the things that we’re dealing with is the issue of making sure House Republicans, who are in the majority, are comfortable with whatever package comes to the floor of the House,” Yarmuth said. “The sensitivity is, would House Republicans be open to a bill that comes from a Democratic-controlled Senate or a from a Democratic President. That’s why we think our effort is most important. If we can get one through the House than the odds of actually getting it signed into law improve a lot.”
Yarmuth said the House bipartisan group has been talking to the Senate’s “Gang of Eight”, also working on immigration reform. On Wednesday afternoon, four members of the Senate group, including Sens. McCain, Schumer, Flake and Bennet, are scheduled to tour the border.
President Obama has interviews scheduled with two Spanish language networks for Wednesday afternoon. No one expects any real movement until Congress returns from Easter break.
“I don’t know if we can achieve agreement or not we are working literally night and day,” Senator John McCain said during a town-hall in Arizona on Tuesday.
“I’m very optimistic…In our group, everybody is really committed to getting this done. We know we have to deal with the immigration issue and this is the best opportunity we’ve had in generations,” Yarmuth said.