America’s immigration system is a “mess” and reforming it would help the economy, House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday.

Speaking at the American Enterprise Institute about “resetting America’s economic foundation” Boehner addressed immigration reform when asked by a member of the audience.

“Yeah, I think immigration reform would help our economy, but you’ve got to secure the borders first — we’ve got a mess and I think everybody knows we’ve got a mess. Our legal system is broken, our borders aren’t secure. And then we’ve got the problem of those that are here without documents,” Boehner said.

“It needs to be fixed,” he continued. “We’re a nation of immigrants. The sooner we do it the better off the country would be.”

House Republicans did not move forward on immigration reform this year due what Boehner and many other Republicans said was a lack of confidence that President Obama would apply the law as passed.

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