House Speaker John Boehner said today the House will not vote on the Senate immigration bill if it does not have stronger border security measures and the support of House republicans.
He said the border security provisions in the bill are not good enough.
“I frankly think the Senate bill is weak on border security, I think the internal enforcement mechanisms are weak and the triggers are almost laughable,” Boehner said.
“If they’re serious about getting an immigration bill finished, they should reach out to their GOP colleagues to broaden support.”
Supporters of the Senate Gang-of-8 immigration bill expect to receive such a strong bipartisan support that it would put political pressure on Boehner. Boehner would then have to bring it to the House for a vote.
Key Republicans in the Senate, including Gang-of-8 member Marco Rubio (R-FL), have been pushing for border security measures that would help the bill pass in the House.
But Democrats do not want the path to citizenship to be delayed. The provisions dictate that the path to citizenship for the undocumented be dependent on how secure the border is.
A proposal by Senator John Thune (R-SD) was not approved today. It called for the completion of a 700-mile border fence before undocumented immigrants could receive Registered Provisional Immigrant status. It failed 39-54.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is confident that the popular support of the immigration bill will ultimately influence Boehner.
“No matter what he [Boehner] has said, there’s going to be significant national pressure on the House to do something on immigration,” he said.
More on Immigration Reform:
- Immigration Reform 2013
- Gang of 8
- Earned Citizenship
- Streamlining Immigration
- Strengthening Border Security
- More Accountability for Employers Hiring Undocumented Immigrants