McConnell says U.S. immigration won't be reformed this year

Feb. 4, 2014 at 4:53 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he's pessimistic the United States' immigration policy can be reformed in this election year.

The Kentucky Republican said he sees a legislative logjam with the Senate and the White House controlled by Democrats and the House of Representatives in the hands of the GOP, the Hill reported.

"I think we have sort of an irresolvable conflict here," McConnell said after a meeting of the Senate Republican conference. "The Senate insists on comprehensive [legislation]. The House says it won't go to conference with the Senate on comprehensive and wants to look at [it] step by step.

"I don't see how you get to an outcome this year with the two bodies in such a different place."

A major stumbling block is Democrats' insistence the reform legislation include a direct path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million immigrants now in the United States illegally, he said.

Beyond that, McConnell said Republicans also object to the Senate Democrats' desire to deal with immigration in one large package, preferring to vote on individual components of the overall reform effort, the Washington publication said.

"I think the problem isn't so much the principles, it's how legislation actually gets passed and we find consensus and that's the challenge," he said. "The Senate bill is a non-starter because it just reminds people of Obamacare [the Affordable Care Act], another big expensive bill with a lot of moving parts."

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