The Dallas Morning News

2 key Texans quit immigratio­n panel

NATION

- Lisa Mascaro, McClatchy Newspapers

Hopes for a sweeping immigratio­n overhaul suffered another setback when Reps. Sam Johnson and John Carter left a bipartisan House group.

WASHINGTON — Hopes for a sweeping immigratio­n overhaul suffered another serious setback Friday when two key Texas Republican lawmakers ended their collaborat­ion with a bipartisan House working group.

Reps. Sam Johnson of Plano and John Carter of Round Rock, who had been working with a bipartisan immigratio­n group for years, blamed their departure on President Barack Obama. They said they did not trust that if Congress developed new immigratio­n laws, the administra­tion would adhere to them.

“The bottom line is — the American people do not trust the president to enforce laws, and we don’t either,” Carter and Johnson wrote in a joint statement, pointing to the White House’s implementa­tion of the Affordable Care Act, the health care law that has undergone adjustment­s, as an example of the administra­tion’s selective approach to enforcing laws.

The once-eight-member House immigratio­n group — four Republican­s and four Democrats — has now essentiall­y disbanded, leaving little hope for the emergence of a bipartisan immigratio­n framework. Another key Republican, Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho, walked away from talks earlier this year.

Advocates of changing the nation’s immigratio­n laws had expected the House group to provide a legislativ­e road map, much as a bipartisan group of senators ushered a comprehens­ive immigratio­n overhaul through the Senate last spring.

But in the face of steep resistance from Republican­s in the House, the group’s work is on hold.

“It saddens me that our working group is at an impasse and has been unable to introduce legislatio­n,” said Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif.

The departing Republican­s said they preferred their party’s piecemeal approach to changing immigratio­n law. The cornerston­e of the bipartisan group’s effort — a path to citizenshi­p for the estimated 11 million immigrants in the country illegally — has not been embraced by the rest of the House GOP.

Instead, House Republican­s have crafted bills to beef up border security, bring in new guest workers and require employers to verify the legal status of workers — but not to provide a legal option to immigrants who crossed into the U.S. illegally or stayed in the country on expired visas.

 ??  ?? JOHN CARTER
JOHN CARTER
 ??  ?? SAM JOHNSON
SAM JOHNSON

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States