Republicans decry missed opportunity as immigration legislation window closes

congressThe session of Congress that started in the hope of finally making progress on the issue of immigration reform is coming to a close, with no progress and a lot of bitter divisiveness. A number of Republicans are even warning that the need for their party to take action has never been stronger.

Every lawmaker seems to be in agreement that the current immigration system in the United States is dysfunctional; however, the only movement on fixing the problem has come from the executive action taken by President Obama. Despite the controversy this action has generated, a number of Republicans are fearful that they will pay the price in the 2016 presidential election for their inaction, while Democrats are hoping to reap the rewards.

“If we don’t make some down payment toward a rational solution on immigration in 2015, early 2016, good luck winning the White House,” notes South Carolina Republican senator Lindsey Graham, who was one of the Gang of Eight that created the comprehensive immigration reform bill passed by the Senate in 2013, only to see it go nowhere in the House of Representatives. The bill will be officially declared dead when this session of Congress expires later this month.

The executive director of the immigrant advocacy group America’s Voice, Frank Sharry, says that the Republican party essentially threw away the greatest chance for immigration reform that the country has seen in an entire generation.