As the U.S. House continues to grapple with the issue of immigration reform, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, is keeping her ear to the ground in Southwest Washington, her spokesman, Casey Bowman said today.
“She has been listening to Southwest Washington residents, and what they want is a country that remains open to those who want to come here and contribute, but they also want our laws to matter,” Bowman wrote by email. “We’ve got to fix the root problems that have caused this broken (immigration) system so we don’t end up right back in the same place in 10 years.”
Immigration reform advocates have hosted several rallies and other political events in Vancouver, asking Herrera Beutler to support reforms that include a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million immigrants who live in the U.S. illegally. Advocates have told stories about immigration laws keeping their families apart and about immigrant workers being exploited.
The U.S. Senate passed an immigration reform bill late last month with about two-thirds of senators in support. In part, the bill would provide a pathway to citizenship, and bolster border security. It’s unclear whether leaders in the House will bring a similar immigration reform bill forward.
“There are members of both parties here in the House working on their own plan to fix immigration, and Jaime has been urging her colleagues to give full consideration to these efforts,” Bowman wrote by email. “She believes reform must first secure the border, but as an American of Hispanic descent, Jaime wants to ensure that people can continue to immigrate legally.”
Herrera Beutler declined to weigh in on the Senate’s immigration proposal.
“House leadership has made it clear that they will not be taking up the Senate’s immigration bill, so rather than analyze hundreds of pages of legislation that will never come before her for a vote, Jaime has kept her focus on immigration reform efforts in the House,” Bowman wrote. “She has participated in strategy sessions within the Republican Conference on how to best move a solution forward, and would support legislation to fix our nation’s broken immigration system through a commonsense, step-by-step approach.”