WASHINGTON -- A bipartisan group of House members that have been
secretly meeting for years to negotiate a sweeping immigration bill on
Wednesday praised a just-released Senate proposal to overhaul
immigration laws and grant eventual citizenship to millions of people in
the country illegally.
After the Senate so-called Gang of Eight
unveiled an 844-page immigration bill Wednesday morning, members of the
House group responded with a joint statement, applauding the efforts and
saying their version isn't far behind.
"Americans want to see the
nation's broken immigration system fixed, and they know it will take
bipartisanship to solve this problem in a sensible and rational way,"
the statement read. "This week, a bipartisan group of senators stepped
forward to introduce their proposal, and we applaud their effort."
statement is signed by the eight members of the House group: Reps.
Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., John Carter, R-Texas, Mario Diaz-Balart,
R-Fla., Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., Sam Johnson, R-Texas, Raul Labrador,
R-Idaho, Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and John Yarmuth, D-Ky.
The statement also said that the group "will soon agree" on its plan.
Republicans who oppose what they say is the Senate bill's "amnesty" for
the estimated 11 million unauthorized foreign citizens living in the
United States have said they will insist on a House version that
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, one of the most
vocal proponents in Congress for strict immigration enforcement, has
been pressuring colleagues to slow down on plans to overhaul the system.