McCarthy on immigration reform: 'The most important thing is to get it done right'

McCarthy on immigration reform: 'The most important thing is to get it done right' »Play Video
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A day after Republican party leadership seemed to stall on immigration reform, Bakersfield's Rep. Kevin McCarthy insists the job will get done, but it has to be done right. On Thursday House Speaker John Boehner said passing reform would be tough because President Obama has to "restore trust." Friday, McCarthy said that's necessary, but work will continue.

"We know the system's broken," McCarthy told Eyewitness News. "We have to move forward. We think it's most important to fix it right, because we don't get to do this very often." He said that's more important than "the time that you do it."

The day before, Boehner said the president has to do his part.

"There's widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce the laws," Boehner said. "And it's going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes."

Kern County Democratic Party Chairman Candi Easter isn't buying that from Boehner.

"He's trying to throw the blame on someone else," Easter said. "But it's really his fault, he can't control his own caucus."

McCarthy isn't buying that. "That's always an easy answer that someone tries to argue about," McCarthy says. "But that's not true."

Just last week, Republican party leaders wrapped up a retreat, with an outline of positions on immigration reform. McCarthy was front and center when the "Standards for Immigration Reform" were released. He says Boehner's remarks don't signify a retreat from that.

"If you read the standards, we start out by protecting the border," McCarthy said. He says the concern is whether the administration will enforce border security in any immigration reform.

In his remarks, Boehner said the issue is not over.

"I'm going to continue to talk to my members about how we can move forward, but the President is going to have to do his part, as well," he said.

But, local Democrat Candi Easter says the Republicans just won't work together to come up with a plan. She says Republican law-makers in the Central Valley really should work to convince fellow party-members, because it's an important local issue.

"Even our own Republican leaders have recognized this, so they should be speaking up to their friends, and say - 'Hey, this is going to hurt us a lot if you don't come over to the side and do the right thing," Easter said. And she worries McCarthy won't work on this. "I don't really have a lot of confidence that he's going to push this issue at all," she said.

McCarthy disputes that.

"Me personally, as Whip, I do a lot every single day," he said. And, he told Eyewitness News if reform isn't passed this year, Republicans will still keep working to pass it.

"Sometimes it's tough to move it,' McCarthy said. "But, the most important thing is to get it done right."