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The last remaining hope for Congress to pass an immigration overhaul died Thursday morning when House leadership informed Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., that his bill will not be considered this year.

Diaz-Balart has been the main Republican responsible for crafting the House version of an immigration overhaul. At times, he was working with a bipartisan group of legislators to find an immigration overhaul that would be tolerable in the Republican-led House. He was repeatedly encouraged by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other GOP leaders to continue working on the bill.

But after meeting with House leadership on Thursday morning, he says he was told the end had come.

"I'm really, really disappointed," he said after the meeting. "We have a good bill. We have a unique opportunity to secure our borders, fix our broken immigration system, help our economy and do so in a way that adhere to the rule of law. But unfortunately I've been told we're not going to be able to pursue it. And I think that's highly unfortunate."

Diaz-Balart said GOP leadership concluded they can't trust the president to carry out the enforcement provisions of any bill Congress passes. The bill he crafted was designed to ensure that any president, Obama or his successor, could not ignore or work around enforcement provisions of the bill. The bill contains several strict triggers that must be met before the nation's undocumented immigrants can continue on their path to citizenship. But that wasn't enough, Diaz-Balart said.

Diaz-Balart saud he thinks the current crisis of children rushing across the border is further proof that an immigration overhaul is necessary.

"It is highly irresponsible not to deal with the issue," he said during a press conference Thursday. "I know it is difficult, especially when you have a president that failed to build the trust of the American people or the U.S. Congress, and who has done little to enforce current law despite his assertions to the contrary. But we were sent here by the American people precisely to tackle difficult issues and not to take the easy way out."

Any immigration bill already faced long odds in the GOP-led House. Boehner said all along that he would not take up an immigration overhaul passed by the Senate last year that included a pathway to citizenship for most of the nation's undocumented immigrants.

And even though Boehner and other Republican leaders said they would pursue their own, piecemeal version of immigration changes, the chamber hasn't acted on an immigration bill in over a year. They laid out "principles" of what their immigration bill could look like earlier this year, but those ideas were never written into a bill or filed in the House.

That left Diaz-Balart and a small group of other House members crafting their own bill that could attract enough Republican support to reach the floor. Working closely with Democrats such as Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., and supportive Republicans such as Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., they spent months lobbying fellow members and selling them on their version of immigration reform.

But all that came to an end Thursday. Diaz-Balart said he was not surprised, but still disappointed by the decision.

"A lot of work has taken place in the last year and a half. A lot of people have taken a lot of arrows," he said. "If anyone has a change of heart, however, we're ready to go."

Cindy Monge, a 19-year-old from Guatemala, was among those calling for a solution to the humanitarian crisis at the border on Monday. Monge grew up in Maryland after crossing the border alone as a child. Rose Zhou/Medill News Service

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