Boehner Dodges Question on 'Path to Citizenship' for Illegal Aliens

By Patrick Burke | February 5, 2013 | 11:40 AM EST

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio (AP File Photo)

( - House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday dodged a question about whether he favors a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens.

At a Capitol Hill press conference, a reporter asked Boehner, “Do you personally believe there should be a path to citizenship like [Senator Marco] Rubio (R-Fl.) described in his bill?”

Boehner responded, “I think this is very difficult part of any of these bills. And I’m going to just encourage members on both sides of the Capitol and both parties to continue to try to come to some resolution of that issue.”

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When asked earlier about the possibility for immigration legislation coming up for a vote in the House, Boehner applauded his colleagues for their bipartisan approach to the issue.

“I’m going to applaud my colleagues on both sides of the Capitol and in both parties who have worked together to try to solve one of the bigger issues that we’re dealing with in our country. And that’s the issue of immigration—both legal immigration and illegal immigration,” Boehner said.

He continued, “And I want to applaud Senator Rubio for his efforts -- the bipartisan efforts here in the House. And what I want to do is encourage both sides of the Capitol and both parties to continue talking to one another so that we can resolve this issue in a bipartisan manner.”

On Jan. 28, a bipartisan group of eight senators unveiled a plan that would grant “probationary legal status” to illegal immigrants who are presently in the United States. Once an illegal immigrant is granted probationary legal status, he or she ultimately would be able to apply for a green card.

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