Rejecting the comprehensive approach to immigration reform passed by the Senate, House Speaker John Boehner reiterated today that he will take a “step-by-step” approach in order to achieve “fairness” in immigration reform, especially “for children who came to this country illegally but through no fault of their own.”
“The American people have kind of had it with 1,300-page bills that no one’s read,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said at a news conference Thursday. “Listen, the House is going to do its job, and we’re going to do this in a common-sense, step-by-step way.”
Joining with Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., who supports green cards for young people, Boehner spoke about the need for “basic fairness” when it comes to forging a path to citizenship for children who were brought here as minors with their parents—children who are widely referred to as “DREAMers,” after the DREAM Act legislation.
“Now I think it’s only fair. [Americans] expect that no one who broke our laws will get special treatment,” Boehner said. “People expect that there should be fairness for children who came to this country illegally but through no fault of their own. And they see no fairness in giving out most green cards based on the basis of luck instead of considering people’s education and their skills.”
The DREAM Act would give green cards allowing permanent residency in the U.S. to certain immigrants who came here illegally as minors, graduated high school and have shown “good moral character.”
“Americans expect, as a nation of laws, that we’ll enforce them, starting at the border,” Boehner said, referring to the House’s strategy for passing immigration reform. “This is a tricky path to do this correctly.”