Although lawmakers are engaging in serious discussions about immigration reform after many years of disregarding the issue altogether, experts are warning that the American public should not hold its breath waiting for the reforms to become official, with Republican strategist Ford O’Connell telling Xinhua that there is a strong possibility that there will be no reforms passed in 2013.
Although the Republican Party wants to get Hispanics on their side and see US immigration reform as a way to do just that, they are under no compulsion to get immigration reform passed by the midterm elections next year. Historical trends suggest that there will be a low turnout of Hispanic voters and that supporting such a bill might even be damaging to rank and file Republicans because of their conservative base.
“Getting it done or not done before the 2014 elections will have almost zero bearing on the midterm elections,” O’Connell claims, albeit admitting that the Democrats may well try to make an issue out of it next year. On the other hand, Republican lawmakers have no wish to see probable Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton win in 2016, so they will have to deal with the immigration reform issue before then.
“There’s a cadre of GOP lawmakers who realize that they have to get immigration reform done, but they don’t have to do it until the day before Election Day 2016,” O’Connell points out. With Republicans expected to gain more seats in the Senate, there could be a renewed push for reform in the United States following the midterm elections in November 2014.