Chuck Schumer Is OK with piecemeal immigration approach (Aug 07, 2013)

Posted by Paul Krapes| 8/7/13 7:21 PM EDT


Politico Reported

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) made his clearest indication yet that he would be fine with a piecemeal approach to immigration reform preferred by the Republican-led House.

Schumer, the leader of the Gang of Eight whose comprehensive immigration reform legislation passed the Senate in June, said even if the House passes separate bills, those measures could eventually be bundled in a House-Senate conference committee.  We would much prefer a big comprehensive bill, but any way that the House can get there is OK by us,” Schumer told CNN Wednesday. “I actually am optimistic that we will get this done.”

A bottom line, however, is “some kind” of a pathway to citizenship, Schumer said — the most controversial provision of immigration reform among House Republicans. And there’s not yet a standalone pathway bill that’s been released by House Republicans.

Democrats and immigration advocates have been outspoken against the piecemeal approach, arguing that components of the immigration system are so intertwined that reform must be taken up comprehensively. But House Republicans generally dislike comprehensive bills. Schumer also noted on CNN that a few of the House bills — such as one on agriculture workers and another on high-skilled immigrants — are “very similar” to components in the Gang of Eight bill.

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