The third highest ranking Republican in the House of Representatives says that lawmakers will not be taking a vote on the issue of immigration reform in 2013, confirming the fears of immigration advocates. Kevin McCarthy told proponents of reform that there simply were not enough days left for the House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Republican Party, to take any action but that he was committed to ensuring that an overhaul of the country’s immigration system would be addressed in 2014.
The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights chairwoman in Los Angeles, Angelica Salas, described the conversation that she had with McCarthy in an interview with the Associated Press and a Friday conference call with other reporters. “What he said was, there’s 13 days left, it’s very hard to do anything in 13 days,” she says.
The House of Representatives will return next week following another week’s break, but there are just a handful of legislative days remaining in 2013. Back in June the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill that included offering a pathway to citizenship for the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants who currently live in the United States as well as tightening border security, but the bill has not been heard in the House and piecemeal bills have been languishing since the summer.
McCarthy told Salas that pressure tactics are the wrong method of encouraging Republicans to agree to immigration reform, but Salas says the House must act as soon as possible.