As the Senate debates potential amendments to its comprehensive immigration reform bill, the House of Representatives has been formulating one of its own. A bipartisan group of Representatives has reportedly come up with an "agreement in principle" on immigration reform, and that agreement is now being reviewed by the House Judiciary Committee.
CNN reports that members of the bipartisan group will now take the proposal to their respective colleagues for discussion. It is projected that the legislation will be formally introduced at the beginning of June.
Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, a Republican of the bipartisan group that proposed the bill, told CNN that it would be significantly different than the proposal that is being debated in the Senate.
On of the main points of contention among the group of four Democrats and four Republicans was reportedly whether the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in America would have access to health care benefits. Another highly debated issue was the oversight program for guest workers. These and other issues will likely be hashed out through a series of amendments.
Generally, though, this legislation is likely to be tougher on undocumented immigrants than that of the Senate, reports Reuters. For example, the House bill sets the time frame for a path to citizenship at 15 years, compared to a 13-year plan in the Senate bill. However, like the Senate bill, the House proposal offers a faster track to citizenship for members of the military and young people who were brought to the U.S. as children.
Members of the House Judiciary Committee reportedly favor incremental changes to the nation's immigration policy, rather than a comprehensive overhaul, which threatens to block the House bill entirely. Still, House Speaker John Boehner has stated that he strongly supports presenting legislation in order to start negotiations with the Democratic-led Senate.