News / USA

Analysts Say Republicans Under Pressure on Immigration Reform

Analysts Say Republicans Under Pressure on Immigration Reformi
X
January 31, 2014 1:09 AM
Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives are outlining their principles on immigration reform to party members at a retreat in Eastern Maryland. They are likely to hear strong views from some of their more conservative legislators who want border security to take priority. President Barack Obama, Democratic lawmakers and pro-reform activists are urging House Republicans to make 2014 the year for a major overhaul of U.S. immigration policy, but analysts say there is a tough road ahead. VOA’s Cindy Saine reports from Capitol Hill.
Cindy Saine
Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives are outlining their principles on immigration reform to party members at a retreat in Eastern Maryland.  They are likely to hear strong views from some of their more conservative legislators who want border security to take priority.  President Barack Obama, Democratic lawmakers and pro-reform activists are urging House Republicans to make 2014 the year for a major overhaul of U.S. immigration policy, but analysts say there is a tough road ahead.

Some U.S. states are enacting their own measures to deal with the reality of an estimated 11 million undocumented people living in the United States.  Maryland, near the nation's capital, is allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses if they meet certain requirements.

At his annual State of the Union address, President Obama renewed his call for action.

“Finally, if we are serious about economic growth, it is time to heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, and law enforcement - and fix our broken immigration system," said President Obama.

The president did not give Congress a list of demands for immigration reform.  Mark Kennedy of George Washington University says this was wise.

“Well, I think the president understands that the next step in the process is to get the U.S. House to act, and the more he’s pushing, the less likely they are to act," said Kennedy.

The president and other Democrats would like the bill to contain a pathway to citizenship for undocumented residents.  Democratic Representative Lloyd Doggett:
 
"We have too many families who are being torn apart - parents from children - because they lack proper documents. I believe that those families who are playing by the rules, paying their taxes, ought to have a way to pay a fine, get in line and achieve American citizenship here," said Doggett.

But many Republicans oppose citizenship as an option, and say they will only vote for reform under certain conditions.  Republican Representative Andy Harris:

“Maybe after we talk about securing the border, and maybe if we take pathways to citizenship off the table, other things might be open for negotiation.  But barring securing the border first and taking the pathway off the table, I’m afraid it’s a dead end in the House," said Harris.

One of the guests of first lady Michelle Obama at the State of the Union address was Cristian Avila, an immigrants' rights activist who recently fasted for 22 days to get Congress to act.  Avila said he wants to become a citizen and serve in the U.S. military.

“I think definitely citizenship is extremely important for us and for our families so we don’t create another second-class citizenship, right?" said Avila.
 
Avila says he and other immigrants will keep up the pressure on both Republicans and Democrats to pass immigration reform legislation.

You May Like

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid