As immigration reform advocates spread across Capitol Hill today, they got a boost from Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen when she signed onto a comprehensive bill in the House.
The Miami lawmaker became the second Republican ( the first was Rep. Jeff Denham of California) as a co-sponsor over the weekend. to back the Democratic bill, which resembles the package passed earlier this year by the Senate, replacing the massive border security amendment (Corker-Hoeven) with something a House panel approved.
"It's important to keep the conversation going in trying to fix the broken immigration system," Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement. "I favor any approach that will help us move the negotiations forward. Other members may soon produce a bipartisan product that may also deserve support and I'm cautiously optimistic that we can pass meaningful immigration reform."
Ros-Lehtinen has moved toward a comprehensive bill as Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has moved away from the Senate bill he helped write. Rubio's words have gained a lot of attention
, and some criticism from reform advocates.
But New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, a leader of the Gang of 8, told the Buzz today he's not worried.
"We all agree that the House will pass it in pieces. Everyone one of us wants us to pass a bill. They are going to need Democrats to pass any part of legislation so it's going to have to be a balanced bill. I think Sen. Rubio is aware of that."
So its' a benign comment? "I looked at the actual words he said and they weren’t much different from what a lot of other people are saying."