Democrats in the Senate have given a message to advocates for immigration reform on Tuesday at the Capitol, telling them to unify and train all their fire on Republicans in the House of Representatives from now until August. Backers of immigration have until now been waging a war on two fronts: putting pressure on President Obama to use executive action to alter his enforcement policies and stop deportations, and urging lawmakers to pass an overhaul of the immigration system. The two strategies have sometimes competed with one another.
Now, however, key Democrats within the Senate, who still believe that there is a chance that immigration reform could be passed in the House of Representatives this year, are asking for the focus for the next ten years to be placed on the House, which is controlled by the Republican party.
“We talked about doing everything we could to get the House to act before August recess,” Senator Charles Schumer noted after the meeting, which lasted for an hour. “If they don’t act, you know, then the president is going to have no choice but to act on his own. But we’d all prefer there to be a legislative solution.”
The groups present at the meeting on Tuesday consisted mainly of liberal and Latino organizations, which have strongly supported immigration reform, together with the Democrat members of the Gang of Eight behind the Senate bill and Senator Harry Reid. Some advocates wanted to see action by July, and trouble could be brewing if the Republicans continue to ignore the issue when August rolls around.