President Obama revisited a key campaign promise when he hosted a White House meeting of elected officials and experts on immigration. If a major overhaul of the nation’s immigration policy is his goal, congressional Republicans say he shouldn’t hold his breath, reports the Associated Press. They say any bill that even hints at amnesty or legalization for millions of illegal immigrants already in the U.S. is dead before it ever makes an appearance in a congressional committee.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, said immigration reform proposals that offer a path to legal status are tantamount to amnesty. “I think most members of Congress and most Americans don’t want to reward lawbreakers and don’t want to give them amnesty,” Smith said as Obama held his meeting. “Remember, in the last Congress, the Democrats had large majorities and weren’t able to pass the comprehensive amnesty bill,” Smith said. “I don’t think that bipartisan resistance to mass amnesty has (abated).”