By ERICA WERNER, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Judiciary Committee is preparing to vote on its first immigration bill this year, a tough enforcement measure giving state and local officials new powers to act against people here illegally.
Democrats and immigrant groups are protesting the measure. They say it represents bad policy and bad politics by House Republicans at a moment when the Senate is considering a comprehensive bill including a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants here illegally.
But the Judiciary Committee chairman, Republican Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, says any real immigration reform must ensure that immigration laws are enforced. He says the Senate bill is lacking in that regard.
Goodlatte's panel takes up the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act on Tuesday. The bill empowers local law enforcement officials to enforce immigration laws.
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