A bill that would overhaul the nation's immigration system passed with bipartisan support in the Senate Thursday, but some of the top Republican leaders in the House say they haven’t bothered to find out what’s in it.
In an exclusive interview with Yahoo News Thursday evening, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he’s not aware of the details in the Senate version of the immigration bill and reiterated that the House would move ahead with its own approach.
“I can’t tell you what’s in that big Senate bill, and the well over 1,000 or 1,500 pages that it may be, and that’s my concern,” Cantor told Yahoo News. “I don’t know if you could ask a lot of the senators what’s in that bill. And that’s my concern.”
The Senate bill is comprehensive, combining mandates for border security and a pathway to legal status for immigrants living in the United States unlawfully. House Republican leaders have signaled that they will take a piecemeal approach to immigration reform instead, a move that could make it difficult for the chambers to reconcile the two versions.
In the interview, Cantor declined to say explicitly if he thought the House could pass a bill that includes a pathway to legality, but he did say “there are a lot of discussions that still need to be had" about the issue. Cantor emphasized his support for a bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for children of immigrants with unlawful status.
Even though the Senate moved swiftly on immigration, Cantor suggested that the House would not hurry to pass its own version of an immigration bill.
“In the House, we’re going to be very deliberative about the approach, trying to address a very broken immigration system and to see what we can do to try and fix it,” Cantor said.
Yahoo News will air the rest of the wide-ranging interview with Cantor on Friday.