Biden: My ancestors 'didn't all come here legally'
By REID J. EPSTEIN |
12/11/13 4:53 PM EST
Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that some of his ancestors came to the United States illegally and said it’s fruitless to compare the immigration system of the 1800s to today’s.
“My great-great grandparents came escaping the famine and they didn’t all come here legally,” Biden said in response to a questioner who said her family came to the country legally from Ireland in the 1800s. “They didn’t all come legally. And the existence of the system isn’t all truncated like it is now. I’d check your ancestry to make sure that they did come legally if that’s a concern to you.”
Biden, who appeared alongside White House domestic policy chief Cecilia Munoz, several times called on House Speaker John Boehner to allow a vote on the comprehensive immigration reform bill the Senate passed in June.
It was a shift from President Barack Obama, who said last month that he could live with the House passing a series of piecemeal immigration bills.
“Pass the bill, John Boehner, bring the bill up and let us pass it,” Biden said.
Boehner, Biden said, is too concerned about his conservative flank to proceed on immigration reform.
“He is unwilling to let the House speak, he is unwilling to let the House vote,” Biden said. “John Boehner, call up the bill.”