The rising influence of the Hispanic vote and a shifting political landscape are behind a renewed push to try and overhaul the immigration laws in the United States, with bipartisan support for such an overhaul having renewed the momentum for action on Capitol Hill in 2013. The issue still has to face a significant amount of hurdles for it to be able to pass a divided Congress.
The legislation has, in truth, not changed all that much since a failed attempt to do much the same thing six years ago back in 2007, says Senator John McCain, but what has changed is the political landscape which surrounds the issue, particularly when it comes to the Republican Party.
The Pew Hispanic Center claims that the Hispanic community voted to reelect President Barack Obama over Republican candidate Mitt Romney by 77 percent to 27 percent in last year’s presidential election. Hispanics now make up ten percent of the overall electorate, and their influence has started to increase in elections.
McCain says that Republicans now have more of an “appreciation” of the fact that the time has come for a fully fledged overhaul of the nation’s immigration system. “I’m confident, guardedly optimistic, that this time we can get this done,” he notes. However the House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Republican Party, has continually resisted comprehensive US immigration reform since the failed 2007 effort, although around 46 percent of House Republicans today were not in Capitol Hill six years ago.