Sunday, May 20, 2018
Politics

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart: Immigration reform won't happen this year

The Republican-controlled House has refused to take up the bipartisan Democratic-controlled Senate bill that passed earlier this year. And now time has essentially run out.

"I don't see the math. There are only 16 days, legislative days, for the floor," Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a leading Republican immigration reformer in the House, told the Miami Herald on Thursday. "I don't see how there's time to go through the committee process and through the floor with what could ultimately be six or nine bills."

Diaz-Balart said there's not enough appetite among a majority of the Republican caucus right now. He said he hopes the House will tackle immigration reform early next year.

Complicating the issue: Too many conservatives are worried about being tagged as too supportive of "amnesty" for illegal immigrants by supporting a pathway to citizenship. The Senate bill provided a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants living here illegally and tightened border security.

Many saw the fierce conservative blowback against Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, an architect of the Senate bill, and want no part of it.

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