The likelihood of comprehensive immigration reform legislation being passed this year has become murkier than ever in spite of President Barack Obama making another push and a campaign by a coalition of law enforcement, religious and business groups to overhaul the system, which has remained unchanged for decades.
The great majority of Republicans who are in charge of the House of Representatives are against a comprehensive approach and many are none too happy about offering a pathway to citizenship to those who have broken the country’s immigration laws. While Republican leaders publicly claim that they want to deal with the issue, a large number of rank and file members seem disinclined to have anything to do with it, and it seems unlikely that any measures will be voted on before the end of 2014 given that there are only a couple of legislative weeks remaining this year.
Obama’s victory in last year’s Presidential election, achieved partly due to the unprecedented support he received from the Hispanic community, convinced Senate Republicans that opposing immigration reform could damage the party’s chances at future elections by alienating the Latino voting bloc, resulting in the Senate passing a comprehensive immigration bill back in June, but their House of Representatives counterparts seem less concerned.
“My top priority has been – let’s make sure that we comprehensively reform the whole system so that we’re not just dealing with Dreamers, we’re also dealing with anybody who’s here and is undocumented,” Obama told cable channel Fusion in a recent interview.