May 1, 2013

Regarding the April 29 editorial “Immigration’s dead-enders”:

Contrary to The Post’s assumptions, the House Judiciary Committee’s decision to look methodically at each individual issue within the immigration debate isn’t an attempt to kill a larger immigration bill. On the contrary, this approach will help us get immigration reform right and win the trust of the American people.

We need to take a closer look at this issue to avoid repeating past mistakes. Nearly 30 years ago, politicians assured the American people that alegislative overhaul would fix our immigration system. We were promised tougher enforcement in exchange for legalized status for roughly 3 million people. But that 1986 law has created more problems than it has solved.

While the Senate works its will, the House will do the same, seeking to find consensus on all the issues. Once each chamber holds hearings and passes legislation, the House and Senate can work out their differences. That’s the American legislative process.

This process can be long, but it allows every representative and senator to have constituents’ voices heard. And by taking a fine-tooth comb through each of the individual issues within the larger immigration debate, it will help us get a better bill that will benefit Americans and provide a workable immigration system.

Bob Goodlatte, Washington

The writer, a Republican, represents Virginia’s 6th District in the House, where he is chairman of the Judiciary Committee.