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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Joe Garcia and House Dems try to get immigration reform moving

Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Miami, at Democratic news conference on immigration reform

Alex Leary

Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Miami, at Democratic news conference on immigration reform



House Democrats today attempted to re-start talks on immigration reform, offering a bill that resembles what the Senate passed in June except for a major border security buildup that was added at the last moment.

The bill is not likely to go far but Democrats are hoping it can be a rallying point and get reluctant House Republicans moving on the issue.

Rep. Joe Garcia of Miami joined a large group of Democrats during a news conference. "In the past year, Americans across the country sent a message and that message was loud and clear: 'We want comprehensive immigration reform,' " he said. It was heard in the Senate. Unfortunately, that message has not been heard in the House. The reality is we need to move forward. The only way immigration reform can pass is if Republicans and Democrats work together."

The proposal would strip out the controversial "Corker-Hoeven" amendment to the Senate bill that added tens of billions more for a "border surge," a move that critics said was overkill. Instead, a border security plan passed by the House Homeland Security committee, which directs the Department of Homeland Security to come up with a plan that would lead to 90 percent apprehension of illegal immigrants at the border.

The Senate bill, which Florida Sen. Marco Rubio helped write, was passed in June. But the House has been slow to act, darkening prospects a deal can be reached this year.

[Last modified: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 2:16pm]


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