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Several House Republicans announce support for a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants
With Congress out of town for five weeks, many predicted that immigration reform would fall by the wayside, but back at home, several Republican congressmen have voiced support for a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
In discussions with constituents at town halls and in interviews with news media, several Republican members of the House have indicated a willingness to support a pathway to citizenship proposed in the Senate immigration bill that passed in June — something that had been a major sticking point as House Republicans attempted to craft their own piecemeal approach to immigration reform, after leadership opted not to take up the Senate bill.
Last week, Washington Republican Rep. Dave Reichert said in a radio interview with KVI that he would support a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people in the country illegally.
Those people, he said, are “working here, and they’re here illegal, but they can’t purchase homes … because they’re hiding from the government, and they’re not paying income tax. I want them to get to the point where they’ve got to pay a fine, there’s some penalties they have to go through, there’s some steps they have to go through. And then I want to hold them accountable: then they get citizenship and they’re gonna pay taxes.”
He specifically pointed to the DREAMers – people who were brought here illegally when they were young children – as people whose situations must be remedied.
California Republican Rep. Jeff Denham said last week that he would have supported the Senate’s Gang of Eight Bill, saying he was “frustrated” that the House was not going to take it up.