By Molly K. Hooper - 07/17/14 06:00 AM EDT
A Republican lawmaker says immigration reform can pass Congress before President Obama leaves the White House.
California GOP Rep. Jeff Denham, a Democratic target this year, says a bill has to happen given the humanitarian crisis on the U.S. southern border.
Denham, who represents a district with a large Hispanic population, says that reform must go well beyond adding immigration judges and sending children back to their home countries in Central America.
"I think that we're going to address the supplemental first … and make sure that we are at least dealing with the courts … with that we're also going to deal with the border security bills. I don't think you can just have a debate on those two issues without asking the questions about the 11.5 million [illegal immigrants who] are here today."