House immigration bill’s co-author says debate could get ‘ugly’

A co-author of a bipartisan House immigration proposal is predicting a tough road ahead for the legislation, but he said on Friday that ultimately a compromise will "prevail."

Florida Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart said the process of negotiating a comprehensive immigration bill in the House could get "ugly" before a final bill passes. Diaz-Balart is part of the House's "Gang of Seven," a bipartisan working group that plans to unveil a version of an immigration overhaul they think can pass in the lower chamber.

“You're going to see ups and downs. You're going to see ugly things. You're going to see things that we don't like," Diaz-Balart said in an interview on Bloomberg's "Political Capital with Al Hunt" program. "Ultimately, however, I'm optimistic that the vast majority of the members in the House and the Senate, and the country, more importantly, recognize that we have a system that doesn't work and ultimately, when push comes to shove, in order to pass legislation, I think it's going to have to be something similar to what we've been working on. Ultimately, I think what will prevail is the desire to fix a system that everybody recognizes is broken.”

Members of the House immigration working group have declined to offer details about their bill, but Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat who is part of the closed-door discussions, said on Friday that the group is "at the end of the process" and will introduce a proposal soon.

The Senate on Thursday passed its own version of an immigration bill, which combines enhanced border security measures with a pathway to legality for immigrants currently living in the United States illegally. House Republican leaders have said they do not plan to hold a vote on the Senate legislation. In an interview with Yahoo News on Thursday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the House will move "deliberately" on immigration.

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