The First House Republican Joins Democrats in Co-Sponsoring a Broad Immigration Reform Bill

by | October 28, 2013

By Richard Simon

California Rep. Jeff Denham is the first House Republican to join Democrats in co-sponsoring a broad immigration bill that would provide a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the country illegally.

"We can't afford any more delays," the Central Valley lawmaker said in a statement Sunday. "I support an earned path to citizenship to allow those who want to become citizens to demonstrate a commitment to our country, learn English, pay fines and back taxes and pass background checks."

The Republican from Turlock called the legislation "a common-sense solution to our broken system."

Denham signed onto the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, which resembles the Senate bill passed in June.

The bill "makes securing the border a requirement, not a goal, and puts measurable benchmarks in place to be verified by independent sources to ensure that our border is secure," he said.

Appearing on Univision's "Al Punto," Denham pledged to try to win over Republicans. "Yes, it's risky. We will get hit from the left and the right ... But what is right for the American people and our economy should be the focus (of) the entire Congress."

(c)2013 Los Angeles Times