House GOP on immigration: Get right with law

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House Republican leaders' standards for any immigration overhaul call for providing a chance for citizenship to children brought to the country illegally.

The principles also say the country's national and economic security depends on requiring people who are living and working here illegally to come forward and get right with the law.

It rules out a special path to citizenship. Instead, it says immigrants living here illegally could remain and live legally if they pass background checks, pay fines and back taxes, learn to speak English and understand U.S. civics, and can support themselves without access to welfare.

House Speaker John Boehner and other GOP leaders were circulating the principles to the rank-and-file at their annual retreat in Maryland.

Read the draft standards below:

House Republican Draft Immigration Standards

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi issued a response to the draft standards:

“House Democrats welcome the release of the draft standards set forth by our Republican colleagues.  As Republicans unveil more specifics of their legislation, we hope we can find common ground with our Democratic principles – to secure our borders, protect our workers, unite our families, and provide an earned pathway to citizenship. 

“It is our hope that the presentation of these standards signals a sincere intent to move forward with immigration reform; however, the Republican principles raise more questions than answers.  First, what is the standard for DREAMers to become citizens of our country?  Next, what is required for immigrants to live legally in our nation, and will it result in full citizenship?  Finally, will Republicans’ enforcement triggers create more barriers instead of removing obstacles to comprehensive reform?

“We look forward to the Republicans’ final document so we can work in a bipartisan way to pass legislation that reduces the deficit and grows our economy, as the Senate did last June.  We must work across the aisle to restore confidence in who we are as a people – by and large, a nation of immigrants – by enacting comprehensive immigration reform.”

With contributions from KPCC staff

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