Charles Schumer, the Democrat Senator who was among the bipartisan ‘Gang of Eight’ that drafted the comprehensive immigration bill passed by the Senate last year, says that the Republicans actually do want to see immigration reform pass into law, but just do not want to have to vote on it themselves.
The sweeping bill, which includes expanded US visas for foreign workers, offering a pathway to US citizenship to undocumented immigrants and tightening border security, passed the Senate in June but hit a standstill in the House of Representatives, which is dominated by predominantly conservative members of the Republican Party who refuse to countenance giving legal status to the undocumented, claiming it is the equivalent of rewarding people for breaking the law.
“Most people are for immigration reform,” Schumer claimed during an interview with MSNBC on Monday. “Most Republicans, they’re in the vote no, pray yes caucus, they want it to pass as long as they don’t have to vote for it. I still think we have a chance to pass it this year.” Schumer added that after the Tea Party elections have concluded in the summer may be the time when immigration reform can gain some traction in Congress.
Many Republicans are aware of the need to pass immigration reform lest they risk being blamed for the delays at the next election and Schumer says they are caught between not wanting to do it next year due to the right-wing Republican primaries and realizing they will lose the Presidential election in 2016 if they do not.