A former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives is hoping the current Congress can find a way to pass immigration reform. Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who represnted Illinois in Congress from 1987-2007, believes any reform legislation should include two components: increased border security and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
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“It doesn’t have to be a green card, it can be a purple card or chartreuse card or something,” Hastert said at a roundtable discussion on immigration at DePaul University in Chicago, “but give him a card (that says) ‘I live here, I’m part of this country, and once I have this card, I would like to be a citizen someday and I can go and follow the path of any other person, immigrant, would have.”
Cardinal Francis George, the archbishop of Chicago, also participated in the discussion, as did some business heavyweights in favor of immigration reform with a path to citizenship. Hastert said he’d support the comprehensive immigration reform bill passed by the Senate last year, but added that the House has the right to craft its own version.
Conservative Republicans oppose the path to citizenship included in the Senate legislation, and it has never been brought to a vote in the House.