Despite Republicans in the House of Representatives stating that comprehensive immigration reform will not be happening this year, Senator Charles Schumer said last Thursday that he still thinks such reform is achievable in 2013. Schumer was one of the Gang of Eight Senators whose reform bill was passed by the Senate back in June, but has since stalled in the House of Representatives, which is dominated by the Republican Party.
The biggest obstacle to immigration reform in the House of Representatives has been the offering of a path to US citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants that currently reside in the country, but that is seen by supporters as one of the most crucial aspects of any reform.
Schumer is confident that even if 2013 does not see the passing of a reform bill, it will take place in early 2014 at the latest. Schumer points out that with the election cycle kicking off again next year, Republicans know that they have to take some action on the issue. “They have to do something, and the Republican leadership in the House knows that,” Schumer notes. “Speaker Boehner knows that. At the same time, they can’t do it without Democrats.”
However, immigration reform has been overtaken on the political agenda of late by other legislative battles such as congressional wrangling over budget issues, the rollout of Obamacare and hearings related to the leaking of documents from the National Security Agency.