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Immigration Reform is not dead yet – or is it?

November 28, 2013


House Speaker Boehner says immigration reform is not dead anyway. Credits: ABC7 WJLA, YouTube.com

by Annette Birch

While the clock keeps counting down before lawmakers are expecting to leave Washington for the winter holidays, both Democrats and Republicans maintain that immigration is not dead. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who had previously declared comprehensive reform dead stated on Nov. 22 that the House is continuing working on immigration reform.

“Is immigration reform dead? Absolutely not,” Boehner told reporters during a news conference at the Capitol on Nov. 22. Boehner said that he was “encouraged that the president said that he wouldn’t stand in the way of a step-by-step immigration reform.”


Boehner was encouraged that President Obama accepted the piecemeal approach. Credits: John Boehner, YouTube.com

At least on the surface, this seems to signal an opening from both parties on immigration reform. Only last week, President Obama was still insisting on a comprehensive immigration reform and Speaker Bohner was declaring immigration reform dead, at least for this year.

However, several media outlets on Twitter were skeptical:

And with good reason because Obama and House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has stressed that it is imperative that all pieces are passed at the same time.

“What we don’t want to do is simply carve out one piece of it — let’s say agricultural jobs, which are important, but is easier, frankly, or the high-skilled jobs in your audience here would immediately want to do — but leave behind some of the tougher stuff that still needs to get done,” Obama said in an interview at a Wall Street Journal business leaders forum on Nov. 20.

This includes the real hurdle for Republicans; a path to citizenship for the 11.7 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

Only three Republicans have signed on to the House version of the Senate bill. House Majority leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has presented a bill which that allow Dreamers who came to the United States as children to stay, but the bill still needs to be materialized, according to the Washington Post on Nov. 7.

Eric Cantor argues for amnesty for children of undocumented immigrations. Credits: ForaTV, YouTube.com

In the meantime, Boehner declined to answer a question on when the House would vote on any of the piecemeal GOP immigration measures, according to CNN on Nov. 21.

With only few legislative days left until Congress leaves for the winter holiday it seems unlikely that they are going to present a bill creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants which could get the support of both Democrats and Republicans before the holidays.

And so the dance around immigration reform will most likely continue next year…

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