GOP Rep To Join Democrats’ Immigration Reform Push

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 23, 2013, before the House Judiciary subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security hearing;
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One Republican congressman from a heavily Hispanic district is signing on to a Democrat-led push to advance immigration reform before year’s end, the Washington Post reported Saturday.

Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) told the Post he’s the first Republican to co-sponsor with 185 Democrats a plan giving undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship, and he expects “more to come on board.”

The plan takes up most of the Senate’s bipartisan immigration bill, according to the Post, but includes a House GOP-approved border security bill. Denham told the Post he was sold on the plan when Democrats agreed to include a provision providing a path to citizenship for young immigrants who serve in the military.

While some conservatives are eager to block President Barack Obama’s second-term priority in the wake of the shutdown fight, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told reporters Wednesday that the issue “needs to be addressed.”

Denham told the Post that party leadership assured him immigration reform will be “on the floor by the end of the year.”

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