Republicans in favor of immigration reform say that Congress would be more likely to enact an overhaul of the immigration laws in the United States if the Republican party was to win control of the upper chamber in the upcoming elections in November.
Lawmakers in the Republican party say that the leadership of the House of Representatives would be much more likely to trust its negotiating partner across the Capitol if the Republican party controlled both chambers. The Republican party would also gain more negotiating leverage with President Obama when it came to trying to find ways to secure the US border and reach a decision about what to do about the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants already living and working in the country.
“With the caveat that it’s a very difficult issue, I think the likelihood is better if Republicans take the Senate,” says one of the party’s leading voices on the issue of immigration reform, Representative Mario Diaz-Balart. Jeff Denham, who also supports a pathway to US citizenship for undocumented immigrants, agrees. “I think there would certainly be greater trust between the House and Senate in agreeing on something,” he says.
The presidential election in 2016 is another big issue for the Republicans, with Hispanics having turned on their party in the last two elections, resulting in many Republicans becoming worried that the Hispanic community is rejecting their party because of the debate over immigration reform. Taking action on the issue before the next election could be crucial for the party’s 2016 prospects.