A Florida Republican congresswoman who broke ranks with party leadership to support the comprehensive immigration bill passed by the Senate over the summer said Wednesday immigration policy is a women’s issue because of its impact on families.
“Immigration is really a woman’s issue,” Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, said at a Women Rule Summit, a panel of female lawmakers gathered in Washington, D.C., sponsored by Politico.
“It’s a family-centered issue and I think we need to focus it more that way and look at how it impacts domestic violence. … This issue of immigration directly impacts and it’s usually the mom and the kids.”
In October, Ros-Lehtinen joined Miami Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia in sponsoring a House comprehensive immigration bill that mirrors the Senate bill opposed by many conservatives.
At the time, she issued a statement saying she would support any measures that would keep efforts going to “fix the broken immigration system” — and could back other means to that end.
“I favor any approach that will help us move the negotiations forward,” the statement said. “Other members may soon produce a bipartisan product that may also deserve support and I’m cautiously optimistic that we can pass meaningful immigration reform.”
The Senate immigration bill remains bottled up in the House. It has been a wedge issue for Florida Republican lawmakers, such as Senate sponsor Sen. Marco Rubio, and other conservative Republican lawmakers and voters who fear the Obama administration’s selective enforcement of the law will only worsen the country’s illegal immigration problems.