U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman and 2012 Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan told business leaders in San Antonio on Thursday that immigration reform will be among the items on the House agenda in 2014, 1200 WOAI news reports.
"The problem we have is, our birth rates aren't where they need to be," Ryan said. "We will have labor shortages within a decade, and we need to have an immigration system which is wired and ready for that," Ryan told several local chambers of commerce in an event sponsored by IBC Bank.
Ryan said the House will not simply approve the immigration bill the Senate passed last year, and which was labeled 'amnesty' by conservatives.
"We don't like these multi thousand page bills that come over and you are asked to vote on it and you don't know what's in it, and the public doesn't know what's in it."
He said the House will deal with immigration reform 'in pieces' and the proposal, while not 'amnesty,' will include provisions which allow people in the U.S. illegally to 'come out of the shadows' and 'pay taxes.'
"We have to have a guest worker program, so people can come and go freely through the front door, to serve our economy, to serve our needs," he said.
Ryan said House Speaker John Boehner will lay out a series of 'principals' and the bill will be crafted around those principals. First among them, Ryan said, will be the idea that immigration is good for America and good for the American economy. Another 'principle' will be stronger border security and internal enforcement of existing immigration laws.
But Ryan said one key is to make sure that the bill that is signed is enforced by President Obama.
"We have a hard time trusting the president in enforcing the laws," he said. "Just look at all these extra legal things he's doing with all these executive orders and executive actions."