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House shows 'tremendous lack of leadership' on immigration, says lawmaker

As the prospects for passing comprehensive immigration reform dwindle in the House, Arizona Rep.

As the prospects for passing comprehensive immigration reform dwindle in the House, Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva won’t hesitate to tell you exactly who he thinks deserves the blame.

“The House and its leadership is showing a tremendous lack of leadership,” said Grijalva on NewsNation Monday, taking a swipe at House Speaker John Boehner. “Boehner is not talking about a bipartisan bill that’s comprehensive, Boehner is not talking about bringing something to the floor so that the House can work its will,” he said. “We have a tough path ahead of us in the House.”

Following a closed-door meeting last week, participants told reporters that Republican leaders hoped to move forward with a variety of small bills dealing with certain aspects of immigration, but not a comprehensive package like the one the Senate passed last month. The House GOP has yet to figure out its position on the legal status of the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S.

With only three weeks to go until the August recess, Grijalva thinks it’s time for President Obama to intervene.

“There is that pulpit that President Obama has,” said the Arizona Democrat. “He has been consistent about a path to citizenship, consistent about talking about compromise, and I think his voice right now would resound across this nation.”

Recent polling shows that a majority of Americans support immigration reform with a path to citizenship. But House Republicans look likely to punt on the issue--a move Grijalva believes will have deep political and social consequences.

“This is not just about electoral politics,” he said. “This is about a fundamental long term view of what this nation’s going to look like. And to continue to ignore it, to continue to ignore 11 million people, to continue to ignore the fact that this system is so broken that it cannot be repaired without a comprehensive approach on part of the leadership in the Republican House, is to bury your head.”