Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas says if his party wants to get a bipartisan immigration bill through the House, they may have to accept more stringent border security measures than they like.
Though he has expressed support for the Senate’s bill, Castro said on Tuesday’s The Daily Rundown that “all of the new border agents along the southwestern border” is a “bitter pill” Democrats might have to swallow to get reform passed.
Illinois Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez said Monday that there are enough votes to get immigration reform passed in the House, adding “now we need to get it done.”
Castro, co-president of the Democratic freshman class, agreed with his colleague that a path to citizenship may be possible in an immigration deal, but blamed Speaker Boehner’s political maneuvers for obstructing its passage.
“I share Luis’s optimism,” Castro said. “If you put the Senate bill to a vote on the House floor today, there is a good chance we could actually pass it. What’s getting in the way of that is pure politics, the fact that the Speaker wants to employ the Hastert rule, that he won’t allow any legislation to move without it a majority of Republican support. ”
The Texas democrat predicted that the House will need to move quickly to get a bill passed.
“I still think our window is 2013. Once you start getting into 2014 its tougher, the good thing is we’ve still got five more months in 2013 to get it done,” Castro said.