News / USA

Expert, Congressional Aides: Immigration Reform Unlikely This Year

Doubts Over 2013 Immigration Reformi
X
October 25, 2013 9:20 PM
President Barack Obama and Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives are pushing the Republican majority to allow a vote on reforming the U.S. immigration system, but congressional aides and political experts say the Republican Party is still divided over immigration, and the House is not likely to tackle the issue any time soon. VOA's Cindy Saine reports.
Cindy Saine
President Barack Obama and Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives are pushing for the Republican majority to allow a vote on reforming the U.S. immigration system.  The Senate passed an immigration reform bill with bipartisan support in June.  But congressional aides and political experts say the Republican Party is still divided over immigration, and the House is not likely to tackle the issue any time soon.  

Fixing the broken U.S. immigration system is one of President Obama's top priorities.

Surrounded by pro-immigration activists, he called on the House to act.

"And whether you are a Republican, or a Democrat or an Independent, I want you to keep working and I am going to be right next to you to make sure we get immigration reform done," he said.

Democratic leaders in Congress also gathered, calling on House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, to bring a bill to the floor.
 
“So my question is, Speaker Boehner, what are you waiting for?" asked Democratic representative Linda Sanchez. "The American people have spoken, they are ready for comprehensive immigration reform, let’s have a vote!”

Speaker Boehner was cautious when asked if he thinks a vote is possible this year.

“I still think immigration reform is important.  It’s a subject that needs to be addressed, and I am hopeful,” he said.

The Senate bill gives preference to an estimated 11 million people living in the country illegally over security on the U.S. border with Mexico, some Republicans say.  Some oppose any bill that would legalize those who entered the country illegally.  Immigration expert Audrey Singer says the House will not take up the Senate's bill.

"The Senate passed something comprehensive, which had many, many elements of reform in one complete bill. The House and Speaker Boehner have said they are not going that route, that they are looking at discrete bills that discuss discrete issues," said Singer.

While pushing Congress to act, the president voiced pessimism.

"Now, obviously, just because something is smart and fair and good for the economy and fiscally responsible and supported by business and labor - and the evangelical community and many Democrats and many Republicans, that does not mean that it will actually get done.  This is Washington, after all," he said.

After the bruising fight over the president's health care law and a government shutdown that hurt Republicans' standing,  some analysts and congressional aides have said they doubt the House will take action on immigration this year.  And next year, with mid-term congressional elections, lawmakers may be determined to avoid divisive issues like immigration.

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ErikKengaard from: Falls Church, VA
October 26, 2013 10:51 AM
Nothing has done more to diminish the quality of life for the middle class through higher housing (land) costs, competition for jobs, greater poverty, mortgage fraud, medicare fraud, crime, cost of public schools, cost of college, depletion of resources, burden on the taxpayer and overall congestion than the increase of and change in population since 1965, driven almost entirely by immigration.

Because we are overpopulated, millions of young people graduating this year will never be able to buy a home in the town where they were born. What sort of person wishes for that?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid