The PJ Tatler

House Group of Eight Working on Their Own Immigration Reform Bill

The Senate Group of Eight will expound on their 844-page immigration reform bill at a press conference this afternoon, in advance of the first hearing on the legislation tomorrow morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is set to testify.

But the House could come back with its own answer to the bill.

The Group of Eight House members working on their solution consists of Reps. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), John Carter (R-Texas), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), Sam Johnson (R-Texas), Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), and John Yarmuth (D-Ky.).

“Americans want to see the nation’s broken immigration system fixed, and they know it will take bipartisanship to solve this problem in a sensible and rational way. This week, a bipartisan group of Senators stepped forward to introduce their proposal, and we applaud their effort. We are also working on a good faith, bipartisan effort in the House,” the group said.

“We believe we will soon agree on a reasonable, common-sense plan to finally secure our borders and strengthen our economy with a tough but fair process that respects the rule of law so immigrants can contribute to our country. While we have made substantial progress, we continue to work diligently towards a bill that keeps America strong, competitive and true to our values.”

Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) office sent out a series of emails yesterday detailing “myths” peddled and calling out conservative sites including RedState, Michelle Malkin, and Breitbart.

“In addition to enhancing technology and fencing at the border, the ‘Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013’ includes a provision to give rural residents and business owners near the Mexican border access to cell service and phones so they can quickly report border violence to the police and the Department of Homeland Security. This provision was included in the ‘Border Security Enforcement Act of 2011’, in response to the case of Robert Krentz, an Arizona rancher who was murdered on his property and did not have the ability to communicate directly with law enforcement because of his rural location. Giving people living and working on the Mexican border the ability to communicate directly with law enforcement is important to securing our border,” Rubio’s office said.

“If this bill becomes law, it would not immediately grant legal status to anyone here illegally. On day one, no illegal immigrant is rewarded with anything. On day one, the clock starts running on the Department of Homeland Security meeting the mandatory security triggers – implementing an effective border security plan, mandatory employment verification for all businesses, and full implementation of an exit system. Sixth months later, after the border security and border fence plans are created, funded, and initiated, undocumented immigrants will be able to come forward, must submit to and pass background checks, be fingerprinted, pay fines, pay taxes, prove gainful employment, go to the back of the line, and prove they have had a physical presence in the U.S. since before 2012, among other measures. And if they meet all these requirements, they will earn a temporary status allowing them to work. If they don’t, they will be deported,” another email said.