No immigration reform in 2013, top lobbyist says

US flagOne of the leading advocates of the effort to reform immigration law in the United States says that the House of Representatives, which is led by the Republican Party, is unlikely to make a move in regards to the issue until next year at the earliest, complicating the likelihood of it ever being able to pass Congress.

The top lobbyist for the US Chamber of Commerce, Bruce Josten, says that the House of Representatives is unlikely to pass even its own version of immigration reform legislation at a time when Congress’ agenda continues to be dominated by fiscal issues.  “I think it would be very unlikely,” Josten noted at the Reuters Washington Summit.

Given that the budget fight has been resolved – for the moment at least – by Congress, President Obama has said that he intends to resume pushing for US immigration reform, which is not only one of his main domestic priorities but also one of the few issues in which a desire for action crosses party lines.  He has been putting pressure on the House of Representatives to complete work on immigration before the end of 2013, after which lawmakers will be turning their attention to the congressional elections scheduled for November next year and are likely to be less willing to make any stands in regards to divisive social issues.

Josten, however, doubts anything will happen before 2014.  “There’s not enough time to do a lot of these big-lift issues,” he says.