Goodlatte pushes "step-by-step approach" to immigration reform in the House

Immigration was the hot topic in Washington last week, as the Senate immigration bill passed with bipartisan support Thursday in a vote of 68-32.

Now the bill moves to the Republican-controlled House, where its future looks bleak. Nancy Cordes sat down with the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and got his take on what's next for immigration reform.

Goodlatte panned the Senate bill saying it "doesn't reflect the concerns that have been raised in our committee." Instead, he called for a step-by-step approach towards solving the immigration problem.

"We need to take this step by step approach in the house to see if we can't solve all three of the major areas needed for immigration reform we need have legal immigration reform that will help to grow our economy, to make our economy more healthy, to create more jobs for Americans we need to have real serious enforcement and not just on the border but also in the interior of the country and we need to solve the problem of finding the appropriate legal status for the  millions of people who are not here legally today."

While the bipartisan Gang of Eight group, four Democrats and four Republicans, got their bill through the Senate, a similar effort in the House failed to reach an agreement that could pass the chamber. Goodlatte says the fact the Senate bill drove the process doomed the group in the House.

"I think the fact that the Senate bill started moving made it less likely that that group was going to reach a separate agreement because a lot of Democrats in the House, including on our committee simply want us to just take the senate bill, but that doesn't reflect the concerns that have been raised in our committee with the bills that we have passed that take a different approach to solving the problem."

Rep. Goodlatte also weighed in on the historic Supreme Court decision this week, which struck down section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights act - calling on Congress to update the process by which states with a history of discrimination have to have their voting and electoral rules approved by the Justice Department.

"It's important for people to understand that the Supreme Court did not strike down any of the protections for people with regard to their right to vote and the law, including the constitution provides that protection," he explained.

But Goodlatte vowed to take a look at how best to protect voters. "We will, however look at the implications of what the Supreme Court decisions are with regard to making sure that there's not discrimination at polling places around the country and we'll do that in July when we return from this recess."


Comments