President Obama says now that the partial government shutdown is over, Republicans and Democrats should work together to fix the nation’s “broken immigration system” by the end of the year. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says that may be possible.
“As long as the president’s willing to secure the border first before we legalize, I think we’ll get a bill,” Grassley says. “And I hope we get a bill I can vote for.”
Grassley voted against the immigration reform plan that passed the Senate in June. The issue has stalled in the House, but the top Republican there says he is “hopeful” it can be revived and a Republican congressman from California has begun drafting legislation that would grant temporary legal status to some immigrants and set up a six year process for granting visas to those who can prove they would not be an economic burden on the U.S. However Grassley says he’s gun-shy because of his experience with the 1986 immigration bill.
“W were securing the border and then we legalized three million people,” Grassley says. “We found out afterwards we didn’t secure the border, but three million people were legalized and I found out you legalize illegality and you’ve got 12 million people here now, undocumented, so I don’t want to repeat that.”
House Republicans have taken a step-by-step approach, drafting bills that deal with parts of the problem rather than passing a comprehensive bill like the one that cleared the Senate in June with the support of 52 Democrats, 14 Republicans and the two independents in the senate.
(Reporting by Bob Fisher, KLSS, Mason City)