The countdown begins for immigration reform

americaThere are fewer than 25 working days prior to lawmakers leaving Washington DC for the holidays, according to NBC News, adding further urgency to the efforts of advocates who are pushing for immigration reform in the United States.  With 2014 likely to see lawmakers’ attention focused on the campaign for re-election, it will be much harder for immigration reform bills to be passed next year.

USA Today says that lawmakers are unlikely to want to risk votes by working on such a contentious issue and with the momentum for change seemingly on the wane, activists have been urging House of Representatives members to make a decision about immigration reform legislation by Thanksgiving, or at the latest by the middle of December.

Republican leaders in the House have been trying to come up with a more piecemeal approach to immigration reform, including smaller bills that have more specific measures, five of which have already cleared committees and which could see a series of votes held if House Speaker John Boehner gave the go ahead.  While time constraints, however, are becoming an obstacle, so too is the state of the current relationship between the Republican Party and the Democrats.

The President’s unwillingness to negotiate in the midst of the fiscal crisis has left some Republicans less willing to cooperate with him on the issue of immigration reform.  “Immigration reform is going to be a lot harder to accomplish than it was three weeks ago,” warns Senator Marco Rubio.