Pence headed for the border

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), whose immigration reform plan has garnered significant media attention during a prolonged standoff between Republican leaders in the House and Senate, is scheduled to make a trip to the U.S. border with Mexico next week, his spokesman said.

The chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee is planning to stop in San Diego, Calif., and El Paso, Texas, next week to promote his plan to overhaul the country’s immigration laws. Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) has introduced a Senate companion. A Hutchison spokesman was “hopeful” the senator could make one of the appearances.

Their plan would create a privately funded system for businesses of every size to bring foreign workers to this country while establishing stricter internal and external enforcement of illegal immigration.

Pence’s trip to the border is independent of a leadership-backed effort to build opposition to the Senate plan.

Republican leaders in the House, in coordination with the committees of jurisdiction, have organized 12 field hearings in eight states during the August recess in order to criticize aspects of a Senate-approved plan that would create pathways to citizenship for undocumented workers already in this country. Nine more hearings are scheduled for the rest of the month.