Immigration foe calls any House action 'colossal mistake' as Boehner works on principles

WASHINGTON – A chief Republican foe of immigration legislation says it would be a “colossal mistake” for the House to consider any measure this year and shift attention from President Barack Obama’s health care law. For months, Republicans have been focused on attacking the health care law, sensing a political boost in its problem-plagued rollout.

Wednesday’s comments by Rep. Steve King of Iowa underscore the difficulty for advocates who have raised expectations for congressional action on immigration. He spoke after a closed-door meeting of House Republicans in which Speaker John Boehner told GOP rank-and-file that he will soon outline party principles on immigration.

The Senate passed a comprehensive bipartisan bill last year with a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally. The bill stalled in the House where Boehner has said he prefers a piecemeal approach.