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Himes Optimistic About Immigration Bill’s Chances

Bill Has Made It Out Of Senate Judiciary Committee
Connecticut U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (file / credit: Office of Jim Himes)

Connecticut U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (file / credit: Office of Jim Himes)

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HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) - Rep. Jim Himes of Fairfield County believes immigration reform could potentially be one of the pieces of good news that emerges from a gridlocked Congress this year.

The bill came out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with such momentum that Himes believes it could stand of fair chance of passage in the House.

Himes told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau that, if passed, 11 million undocumented workers will be paying into our taxes and Social Security, and that’s good for the budget.

As for arguments against legalizing workers who are in this country illegally, he said, “To them I say, ‘Look. These people are going to pay a penalty, very substantial penalty of thousands of dollars. They are going to stay employed. They are not going to be eligible for welfare.'”

Nor would the be eligible for other federal services.

“Under the federal law, for that period of time of ten years when they’re sort of working under a temporary permit, they would not be eligible for any sort of welfare, federally provided social services, subsidies to buy health insurance, all of that stuff,” he said.

He added that deporting 11 million people is not feasible.

But the Congressman knows there are soem aggressive opponents to immigration reform in the House, so he added, cautiously, “We won’t count those chickens ’til they’re hatched.”

Meanwhile, in Connecticut, the State Senate has passed a bill that would grant driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

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