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Peter King urges immigration reform

May 2, 2014

"A House GOP lawmaker is urging Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to bring up immigration reform, saying it would benefit the nation and the Republican Party to undertake an overhaul that includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

The letter from Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) adds to a quiet but growing chorus of comments from House Republicans during the current congressional recess speaking in favor of immigration reform this year – which remains a steep uphill battle, with the House GOP fundamentally divided on the hot-button issue.

In the missive, dated April 23, King tells Boehner that a “confluence of events” makes immigration reform possible, including a path to citizenship coupled with “strong and real” border security and enforcement measures.“It would be in our country’s national interest as well as the interest of our party if this could be achieved and I want to assure you of my support as this effort goes forward,” King wrote.

King, a former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, calls for the “strongest language” possible that would compel President Barack Obama and future administrations to comply with whatever border-security laws that lawmakers write. Security measures included in the Senate Gang of Eight bill, as well as a separate House border-security bill passed through a House committee last year, provide a “good base” to start from, he said.

“As to the issues of legalization and citizenship for undocumented immigrants, I fully understand and appreciate the argument that illegal behavior should not be rewarded,” King wrote. “The reality though is that we are not going to deport 11 million immigrants.”

The letter, which has not been widely released, was obtained by POLITICO and confirmed by King’s office. It follows remarks from other House Republicans this week – including Illinois Reps. Aaron Schock, Adam Kinzinger and John Shimkus – raising the need for immigration reform.

But the chances of the GOP-led House taking up an issue so politically charged and legislatively complex as immigration reform remains low, particularly in an election year. Its leaders argue that they can’t trust Obama to implement any laws they pass — impeding the pathway for immigration reform.

Twenty-two Senate Republicans fired off a letter to Obama underscoring that point earlier Thursday, indicating “grave concern” about a review underway by his administration into how immigration laws are currently enforced. Obama is getting pressure from the left to ease deportations of undocumented immigrants." - To read more, please click here for Politico website

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