Boehner, unprompted, endorses citizenship for child illegal immigrants

July 17, 2013 at 6:46 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 17 (UPI) -- House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Wednesday gave an unsolicited endorsement for granting citizenship to children brought into the United States illegally.

Although Democrats have lauded Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., for creating legislation that would deal with children brought into the country illegally by their parents, they said in Washington they won't support measures that would ignore the rest of the 11 million illegal immigrants, The Hill reported.

The Judiciary Committee intends to have an initial hearing on the matter next week, The Hill reported.

"This is about basic fairness. These children were brought here of no accord of their own, and frankly they're in a very difficult position. And I think many of our members believe that this issue needs to be addressed," Boehner said.

Cantor and Goodlatte said their bill would differ from the Senate's Dream Act, which would give citizenship, under certain circumstances, to children brought into the country illegally.

"It's an issue of decency and compassion. Where else would these kids go?" Cantor said.

"The committees are doing their work. We're going about this in a common-sense, step-by-step approach, and we're trying to be deliberative about how we deal with all of these issues, both fixing the problem of border security and internal enforcement, how to fix a broken legal immigration system, and yes, we've got the problem of those who are here who are undocumented," Boehner said, adding it's too early to predict how the House would vote on the issue of citizenship for illegal immigrants.

Boehner said the leadership would get to the floor in an organized manner the five individual immigration bills approved by the House Judiciary and Homeland Security committees.

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