Reps. John Carter (R-Texas) and Sam Johnson (R-Texas) announced on Friday morning that they would resign from the House's "gang of 7", the bipartisan group assembled to hash out a House version of a comprehensive immigration overhaul.  Their decision marks the collapse of the group after nearly four years of on-and-off work on a bill, and was preceded by the June departure of Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), who left over a dispute over what the members planned to do about health care for undocumented immigrants.

The two Texas representatives cited "a lack of faith in President Obama to enforce current and new laws necessary to solve the immigration problem" in a press release on Friday morning.  "After years of hard work and countless meetings, we have reached a tipping point and can no longer continue working on a broad approach to immigration," it read, before going to on to deride "the administration's practice of hand-picking what parts of laws they wish to enforce has irrevocably damaged our efforts of fixing our broken immigration system."

The House group was said to be virtually done its comprehensive legislation at the end of August, with Democratic member Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) saying he was "done" and "ready" to release it.  But his Republican colleagues balked, largely due to opposition among their party's members to the comprehensive approach.  "There's a lot of good conversations taking place, but right now we don't have the votes to move forward," Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), one of the other Republican members, said then. 

Just before the Texas representatives released their statement on Friday, Gutierrez told the Washington Post that the group had given up their efforts.  "The process is stalled.  I don't believe we're going to produce a bill anytime soon," he said, adding that House GOP leaders weren't providing Republican members with enough support to back a final comprehensive piece of legislation. "It's just not gonna happen now," he said.  "We need the GOP leadership to acknowledge the votes exist for reform."

Frank Sharry, executive director of immigrant advocacy group America's Voice, welcomed the collapse in a statement. "When one door closes, other doors open," he said.  "We are glad that a moribund process has been put to rest and that our leading champions for reform are freed up to bring the full weight of their power to pressure Republicans to take action.  We remain optimistic that immigration reform with a path to citizenship has a chance be enacted into law this year, and that legislation is the best solution to the challenges facing 11 million undocumented immigrants."

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