Second District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito says, when it comes to immigration, the only thing for certain is that the issue must be addressed soon.
“I hope we can keep the discussion going so that we can get something done here, but that remains to be seen,” Congresswoman Capito said.
Lawmakers have now had a couple of weeks to consider a comprehensive immigration reform plan from a bipartisan U.S. Senate group.
It calls for tighter border security, a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people currently living illegally in the United States and a crackdown on companies that hire undocumented workers.
President Barack Obama has offered similar proposals.
However, his plans would give those currently in the U.S. illegally a quicker route to becoming U.S. citizens. If his proposal is approved, undocumented workers could immediately start taking steps toward becoming legal.
Asked about amnesty, “I have not supported that in the past and, in this format, I don’t know that I can support it. I think the enforcement issues are something that need to be answered first to stop the flow,” Congresswoman Capito said.
“I can’t see giving people immediate access to the green card issue in terms of services, in terms of ability to access everything that tax paying citizens have been paying for for years, when they’ve been here in illegally.”
Many of her fellow Republicans in the U.S. House are also calling for the federal government to certify that the border is fully secure before any pathway to citizenship is cleared.
President Obama has said he would like to see immigration legislation finalized within the next six months.