Updated 01:20 AM EST, Sun, Dec 21, 2014
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Immigration Reform 2014: Six New York House Republicans Support Passage of Immigration Reform in 2014

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Rep. Peter King
U.S. Representative Peter King (R-NY) (C) departs after a closed-door meeting of the House Republican caucus during a rare Saturday session at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, September 28, 2013. The U.S. government edged closer to a shutdown Saturday as Republicans in the House of Representatives promised to reject an emergency spending bill approved by the Senate and push instead for a one year delay of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS

Six House Republicans from New York support immigration legislation, and would like to see it pass in 2014.

Rep. Peter King of Long Island, who is the state's senior congressional Republican, said Friday that he prefers that the bill comes to a vote in 2014, but added that the "lay of the land" makes 2015 more likely.

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According to The Journal News, King and two other New York Republicans give credit to House Speaker John Boehner for "laying the groundwork" for a vote on immigration reform.

"If it's not done this year, it definitely will be brought up next year," King said. "I think there will be pressure by the national Republican Party ... to get something done before the next presidential election."

The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill in June with a bipartisan vote that included support from 14 Republicans. Ever since, the Senate-passed bill has languished in the House.

Republicans released a series of immigration reform principles at their annual caucus, but Speaker Boehner said he doesn't trust the Obama administration to enforce the laws of a new immigration bill.

However, Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York said the date of any new law could begin after Obama leaves office.

Schumer, one of the authors of the Senate bill, said House lawmakers should use a discharge petition to force the House to come to a vote on the legislation. The petition requires 218 signatures to force the House to a vote.

"There are five groups generally aligned with Republicans who are for immigration reform," Schumer said, referring to chambers of commerce, tech companies and groups, the agriculture industry, Evangelical churches and the Catholic Church.

Other New York Republicans would also prefer a vote this year, and hope to bring the issue to a vote before the year is out.

Rep. Tom Reed of Corning, N.Y. did not comment on the bill, but is one of four upstate House Republicans who wrote to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in September, urging for the legislation to address agricultural labor.

Last Tuesday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent Boehner a letter signed by 636 business groups urging the House to vote on a reform bill this year.

"Failure to act is not an option," the chamber wrote in the letter. "We cannot afford to be content and watch a dysfunctional immigration system work against our overall national interest. In short, immigration reform is an essential element of a jobs agenda and economic growth. It will add talent, innovation, investment, products, businesses, jobs, and dynamism to our economy."

Rep. Chris Collins, a Republican from Clarence, N.Y. who supports a comprehensive approach, said they need more support for the bill.

"To be frank, we don't have 218 votes in our conference for anything," Collins said.

None of the New York Republicans support using a discharge bill to force the bill to a vote.

Rep. Michael Grimm, a Republican in Staten Island, N.Y., dismissed a discharge petition as "a political gimmick."

"I don't think a discharge petition is the way to get major legislation accomplished," Grimm said. "But I do support immigration reform. I think our immigration system is completely broken and we have to fix it. The status quo is default amnesty. And I don't support amnesty. I don't think it's good for economy to have a broken immigration system."

Republican Rep. Chris Gibson of Kinderhook, N.Y. doesn't support the Senate bill because he thinks House GOP members could draft legislation that focuses more on strengthening border security.

"My critique of the Senate bill is really that it doesn't solve the problem," Gibson said.

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