Immigration compromise elusive

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“There’s such a clear line in the sand there. I bet the house on it not getting to the president’s desk before November.” While GOP leaders conceded that Congress may not pass a final product before fall, they expressed optimism they will reach a compromise between the Senate’s plan to legalize millions of illegal immigrants and the House’s plan to criminalize them. “I think we can achieve a bill here that secures the border, advances the law and addresses the worker needs of our country,” said House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo. “We shouldn’t be driven by politics, and we shouldn’t even be driven by a calendar.” House Majority Leader John Boehner also called a compromise possible. But rank-and-file lawmakers from both sides of the aisle said they are skeptical. WASHINGTON – Illegal immigration hard-liner Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach, told President George W. Bush’s chief of staff on Wednesday that he has the solution to the immigration showdown: Do it our way. Rep. Howard Berman, D-Van Nuys, meanwhile, is looking to cobble together a coalition of moderates willing to get behind a border bill that also would legalize illegal immigrants. The two Southland lawmakers, on opposing ends of the immigration debate, represent the miles of negotiation Congress has yet to walk before passing immigration reform. While the Senate is expected to approve landmark legislation today granting citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants, analysts say Congress’ work is far from finished. “I really don’t think the House is going to swallow any legalization,” said Marshall Fitz, director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. The Senate bill “is just going to run into a buzz saw when it gets to the House,” predicted Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena. Rohrabacher said he doesn”t see how a conference committee _ the negotiating group Congress puts together to hash out differences between House and Senate bills _ can ever emerge with a finished product. He blasted Bush for insisting on a border bill that also legalizes illegal immigrants, saying it is hurting Republicans. “The president is like an anchor and, unfortunately, he is pulling us down,” Rohrabacher said. Steven Camarota, research director for the Center on Immigration Studies think tank, which opposes legalization, said Republicans may have to chose between passing an “amnesty” bill or none at all. [email protected] (202) 662-8731160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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