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

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Brexit's Impact on Russia Stirs Concern

    Some analysts see Brexit aiding Putin's plans to destabilize European politics; others note that an economically unstable Europe is not in Moscow's interests

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    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.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora