GOP lawmaker secures immigration pledge from Ryan

Greg Nash

One of the House GOP's most ardent opponents of illegal immigration says he's secured a promise from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) not to consider any immigration reform measure as long as President Obama remains in the White House.

Rep. Mo BrooksMo BrooksHouse GOP avoids debate over immigration in defense bill GOP rep. on 'Lucifer' remark: Boehner has ‘said much, much worse’ House conservatives push for strong majority of majority rule MORE (R-Ala.) said the expected incoming Speaker confirmed the accuracy of a letter summarizing remarks to the House Freedom Caucus last week that he wouldn't bring up immigration legislation through at least 2016. And if Ryan were to allow a immigration reform bill to hit the House floor once a new president takes office, it would only be if it had the support of a majority of Republicans.

"I need your assurance that you will not use the Speaker’s position to advance your immigration policies, except when in accord with the two above statements, because there is a huge gap between your immigration position and the wishes of the American citizens I represent," Brooks wrote.

Brooks, a member of the Freedom Caucus, said Tuesday on the House floor that he plans to support Ryan for Speaker based on "my trust that Paul Ryan is a man of his word."

Many Freedom Caucus members have expressed concern about Ryan's past support for immigration reform. In 2010, Ryan voted against the Dream Act, which would have halted deportations for qualified illegal immigrants brought to the country as children.

But Ryan has also supported proposals such as giving immigrant farmworkers legal status and allowing undocumented students to qualify for in-state college tuition benefits. 

Ryan reiterated his immigration pledge during a House GOP conference meeting Tuesday morning, adding that the only bill that could be offered while Obama is president would be a border security measure that Republicans rally around, according to a lawmaker present.

Scott Wong contributed.

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