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US Rep Davis: Conference Committee Likely on Immigration Reform

Congressman Rodney Davis

Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) visits Crisis Nursery in Urbana, Ill. (Sean Powers/WILL)

Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) says any long-term solution to address immigration reform will be decided in a conference committee.

Davis met Monday with members of the C-U Immigration Forum at his office in Champaign, days after the U.S. Senate passed its own immigration measure.

He said he agrees with House Speaker John Boehner that the chamber needs to take up its own separate bill. Davis said there has been a lack of conference committees the last few years.

“(There are) so few opportunities to have Republicans and Democrats work together," Davis said. "And the result of that has given us a lack of regular order, and openness in the budgetary process. It’s led to sequestration, and across-the-board cuts, which I don’t think are what the American public sends us to Washington to do.”

Davis said he is looking forward to talking with members of House committees on some of the plans they have passed, and then comparing them to the Senate measure. He said Congress needs to make sure whatever passes solidifies the immigration process so the U.S. does not have millions living in the country illegally 20 years from now. 

The C-U immigration group’s Mike Doyle said it was a positive meeting with Davis. He said the bill does provide a pathway to citizenship, but cited concerns on border security.

"It seems to be wasting a lot of resources and too much emphasis on the border," he said. "The extra guards, the wall that's being built. Usually there's a celebration when we take down walls rather than celebrating putting up walls." 

Ha Ho of the East Central Illinois Refugee Mutual Assistance Center was also encouraged about the meeting with Davis. 

"We had the chance to speak from the bottom of our hearts," she said.  "We wished that all the citizens were given the same opportunity most of us had to become citizens, and to find a second home away from home in the United States."

Doyle's group has invited Rep. Davis to return to Champaign for a community forum later this summer.