GOP Chairman: We Should Legislate That Not One Person Is Thrown Out or Deported

By Michael W. Chapman | December 5, 2014 | 2:37pm EST

House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) (AP)

( – During a House Rules Committee hearing on legislation to curb some of the reach in President Obama’s executive action on immigration, Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said he was working with House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) to push a bill to ensure that not one illegal is removed from the United States “unless they were dangerous to this country and committed a crime.”

Sessions also said he personally would use all his “assets and resources” in 2015 to work out a deal whereby illegal immigrants can “be in this country and work, and where not one person is quote ‘thrown out’ or ‘deported.’”

At the Dec. 3 Rules Committee hearing on the Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act of 2014 (HR 5759),  Sessions was speaking to Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), who had been invited to testify, when he disclosed his plan.

Sessions said that he and “at least one other responsible member” of the House, Judiciary Chairman Goodlatte (R-Va.) “intend to push a bill that would operate under the activity of trying to do under rule of law” and that “even in our wildest dreams, would not be to remove any person that might be here unless they were dangerous to this country and committed a crime; and we would not even – that was never even in a plan that I thought about.”

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatter (R-Va.)

Sessions further said, “I’m going to use my assets and resources in the new year to work with this Congress, including Mr. Polis [Colorado Democratic House member] to have a well understood agreement about what the law should be, and how we as communities, and farm communities, and tech communities create circumstances where we can have people be in this country and work, and where not one person is quote ‘thrown out’ or ‘deported.”

“Where we do keep families together, but what we do is we do so under a rule of law of an understanding,” said Sessions.  “And I have told you [Rep. Gutierrez] this myself numerous times about what we were trying to do.”

Sessions, continuing to address Rep. Gutierrez, said, “And what I intend to say to you today is, ‘My friend, I want to work with you.’ But I would ask that we please understand that we cannot overplay what we’re really trying to do, and that is we’re trying to work through a difficult process.”

“It is at least three Texans that have spent a lot of time trying to broker this deal, and everybody knows that about a year ago when different changes happened, we fell apart,” said Sessions.

In a largely symbolic vote on Thursday, the House voted (219 – 197) to block President Obama’s executive amnesty action but the legislation will go nowhere in the still Democrat-controlled Senate.

Conservatives in the House and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) have urged the House GOP leadership to not waste time on an empty bill rebuking the president but to pass upcoming spending bills that specifically prohibit any funding for the president’s immigration order.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) (AP)

Current funding for the federal government, under a continuing resolution (CR), expires next Thursday, Dec. 11.  To keep the government operating, the House must pass another CR.  House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has indicated that he supports passage of a CR that will fund the government through fiscal year 2015, which ends next Sept. 30.

Boehner has given no indication, so far, that he supports amending the CR in a way that would prohibit funding for implementation of President Obama’s immigration order.

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