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Democrats start gauging support for immigration overhaul

Lindsey McPherson and Suzanne Monyak, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in Political News

WASHINGTON — House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn started surveying chamber Democrats on Wednesday to discern support for the recent White House-backed comprehensive immigration bill that would create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Clyburn, D-S.C., told CQ Roll Call that he hopes to hear back from lawmakers “as quickly as possible” on the immigration bill unveiled by congressional Democrats last week.

At a press conference Wednesday, Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., said that the caucus is beginning to “educate our colleagues and to talk with them about the importance of this piece of legislation.”

He told CQ Roll Call following the press conference that Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., and Rep. Linda T. Sanchez, D-Calif., the lead bill sponsor, will make presentations to other groups this week and next.

“So we’ll have a better gauge at that point,” Aguilar said.

Clyburn’s whip notice comes as CHC members push for fast movement on immigration legislation before April 1, according to Aguilar.

 

“We just want to make something happen. We just want to make sure that we provide relief and that we recognize that this system is broken and make progress toward that. So we anticipate doing that by April 1,” Aguilar said.

“That would be our guidance, so that would be our suggestion to leadership and I think that that’s something leadership, you know, acknowledges and knows and also is committed to.”

Clyburn called that timing “possible” but admitted: “I don’t know how probable.”

In a statement to CQ Roll Call, Sanchez said that she, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus , and a group she called “The Closers” — six other House Democrats spearheading the bill — are focused “on educating members from all corners of the caucus” about the measure and “on building a consensus to deliver the greatest amount of relief to the broadest amount of people as possible.”

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