WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said he is ready to “move now” on legislation, saying that “immigration reform needs to be done.”
The 11-term Republican congressman from Virginia told Fox News Latino that the “status quo” on immigration is unacceptable, that he is ready to move on immigration reform now, and that he is willing to wait it out through the midterm elections in order to gain support from a majority of House Republicans, if necessary.
“And I’m ready to move now. I’m ready to move after the election. I’m ready to move in the next Congress,” Rep. Goodlatte told Fox News Latino. “I do believe that immigration reform needs to be done, because the status quo is simply not adequate. And for those who are very concerned about illegal immigration, it should not be adequate for them either.”
Goodlatte addressed how last week’s defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has diminished the chances of Republican support for immigration reform. But he added that the problem is — and has been — too serious for GOP lawmakers to avoid.
“I think members need to recognize that [immigration reform] is a serious problem that needs to be addressed and that it is not getting any better,” Goodlatte told Fox News Latino prior to Cantor’s defeat.
“The more time that goes by, the more the distinction between legal immigration and illegal immigration, one being a good thing, the other being an undesirable thing, they’re getting blurred by the president, by state legislatures and so on,” referencing President Barack Obama’s 2012 executive order to halt the deportation of DREAM Act undocumented immigrants.
Prior to Cantor’s loss, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, also said he was “hellbent” on passing an immigration bill this year.
Earlier this week, Goodlatte placed the influx of immigrants coming through the border squarely on the Obama administration.
“The recent surge of children and teenagers from Central America showing up at our southern border is an administration-made disaster and now President Obama is calling in (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) to mitigate the damage,” Goodlatte said in a statement on the decision to create a group comprised of government agencies to address the issue.
“Word has gotten out around the world about President Obama’s lax immigration enforcement policies and it has encouraged more individuals to come to the United States illegally, many of whom are children from Central America,” Goodlatte said.