Policy

GOP Negotiator: No Immigration Overhaul This Year (Updated) (Video)

Carter said he doesn't think the House should take up an immigration policy overhaul this year because it would be a distraction from the health care law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio is making a mistake pushing for an immigration overhaul this year, according to one of the House Republican Conference's former top immigration negotiators.

Rep. John Carter of Texas, one of four GOP congressmen who was part of bipartisan negotiations over comprehensive immigration policy changes last year, said voting on the matter this year would distract from the party's efforts to highlight flaws in President Barack Obama's health care law.

Boehner told the conference and the press last week that leaders and committee chairmen will produce a blueprint outlining agreed-upon principles for overhauling the nation's immigration system, leading many to speculate that votes on the issue could be held later this year.

"I'm opposed to voting on a bill this year," said Carter, who was a member of GOP leadership last Congress. "I was in conference when John announced that. It was a surprise to me as much as it was a surprise to anybody else."

Listen to Rep. Carter's comments below: