News / USA

US Immigration Reform Faces Uncertain Future

Immigration Reform Faces Uncertain Futurei
July 01, 2013 6:59 PM
Supporters of immigration reform in the United States gained a victory last week when the Senate approved a bipartisan bill. But immigration reform now faces an even tougher test in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where conservatives have little interest in the Senate approach. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports from Washington this raises the prospect of a political stalemate.
Supporters of immigration reform in the United States gained a victory last week when the Senate approved a bipartisan bill which tightens border security and sets out a lengthy path for citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants.  But getting a bill through the Republican-controlled House will be a different story, says House Speaker John Boehner.

“We are going to do our own bill through regular order, and it will be legislation that reflects the will of our majority and the will of the American people,” he said.

Boehner insists any reform bill in the House must be supported by a majority of Republicans, and many of them have already rejected the Senate version because it offers a path to citizenship. 

On the other hand, a bill that veers too far to the right would alienate Democrats, says Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

“We know it has to be a compromise.  We know who is in the majority.  But if you want our votes it has to be something that our members can vote for,” she said.

Fourteen Republicans supported the Senate immigration bill, well aware of the party’s dismal showing among Hispanic voters in last year’s election, says analyst Allan Lichtman.

“Republicans cannot go forward and expect to win national elections picking up 20 to 25 percent of the rapidly growing vote of Hispanics in the United States,” he said.

In the House, many Republicans are reluctant to anger their conservative supporters back in their home states, explains expert Norm Ornstein.

“If you are sitting there in the House, you may be mildly fearful that there could be a huge backlash.  But the bigger risk for most of those members is the backlash from their own right wing, not from a broader public uneasiness with the direction they are going,” he said.

If the reform bill is blocked in the House, immigration will be a key issue in upcoming elections, says Lichtman.

“It could be diffused for both parties if something major gets through the Congress.  If it does not, then you are going to see the blame game being played,” he said.

In the meantime, millions of undocumented immigrants are waiting for Congress to act.

You May Like

Isolation, Despair Weigh on Refugees in Remote German Camp

Refugees resettled near village of Holzdorf deep in German forestland say there is limited interaction with public, mutual feelings of distrust

Britons Divided Over Bombing IS

Surveys show Europeans generally support more military action against Islamic State militants, but sizable opposition exists in Britain

Russia Blacklists Soros Foundations as 'Undesirable'

Russian officials add Soros groups to a list of foreign and international organizations banned from giving grants to Russian partners

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: NoGig from: United States of America
July 10, 2013 12:17 PM
It is NOT House Republicans who face a VOTER backlash -- it is Senate Democrats.

They will pay a STEEP price for their COMPLETE AND UTTER BETRAYAL of our nation's 7.5 million engineers, scientists and technology workers. They are hopping MAD -- and THEY VOTE.

The willingness of Senate Democrats to sacrifice these workers on the alter of CORPORATE GREED is inexcusable. And WILL have consequences.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs