Politics, government and public life for Southern California

No Democratic support for GOP piecemeal approach to immigration

Kitty Felde/KPCC

Democratic Caucus chair Xavier Becerra of Los Angeles says it'll be hard to find Democratic votes for piecemeal immigration bills being pushed by Republicans in the House of Representatives.

Now that rank-and-file House Republicans have had the opportunity to debate immigration behind closed doors, it's up to Speaker John Boehner to chart a road forward.

Thursday morning, Boehner again said the House will vote on immigration legislation in separate pieces. Republicans are likely to do that without a single Democratic vote in support.

Boehner said he has two takeaways from the immigration debate: that the "vast majority" of his Republican colleagues believe they have to wrestle with the issue, and they also believe "we need this step-by-step common sense approach."

RELATED: Congressman and former teacher Mark Takano gives GOP immigration letter an 'F'

That means tackling a series of GOP-sponsored bills moving their way through committees that address individual issues such as border security and visas for high-tech workers.

Democrats want a "comprehensive" bill that includes a pathway to citizenship. The number three House Democrat, Xavier Becerra of Los Angeles, won't speculate on the exact number of votes any piecemeal bill might get, but he says Democrats are speaking "in a near unanimous" voice saying, "Let's fix the broken immigration system." Becerra says fixing it "doesn't mean putting a Bandaid on one part of a broken machine."

Becerra is a member of the House's bi-partisan "Gang of 7" group that is still fashioning a comprehensive immigration bill.

It's highly unlikely any bill will come to the House floor for a vote until after Labor Day.

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