Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Wait, Please

NEW YORK (TIP): It has been over 9 months since a bipartisan immigration reform bill was passed by the U.S. Senate. However, the House of Representatives has failed to address this important issue despite pleas from business interests, agriculture, religious groups and immigration advocacy organizations.

On March 26, House Democrats attempted to force a vote on immigration reform by using a discharge petition. Unfortunately, the petition failed to get the required 218 votes. GOP House Members are clearly more concerned about being accused of supporting an “amnesty” bill by opponents in primary elections than they are about losing in the general elections in November.

By June, the primary elections will be over and chances for a compromise immigration bill (or bills) passing the House may improve. After Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” debacle practically handed the election to President Obama by alienating the overwhelming majority of Latino and Asian voters, it is clear that the failure to pass an immigration reform bill would be injurious to Republican chances of recapturing the Presidency in 2016.

President Obama has already shown that he is ready to use his administrative powers to stem deportation of DREAMers. If the Republicans continue to block immigration reform, expect the Administration to expand the pool of those shielded from deportation to include family members of DREAMers and possibly undocumented workers with U.S. citizen children. The President meet with Latino lawmakers and immigration reform advocates in mid- March, and directed DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to review the Administration’s deportation priorities with the goal of preventing the separation of immigrant families.

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