Immigration reform is unlikely to get passed this year according to Representative Paul Ryan. The Republican Congressman expressed doubt that his party would be able to reach a compromise this year and noted that the possibility of a bill reaching President Obama’s desk this year is “clearly in doubt.” Last summer, the Senate passed a bill providing a path to citizenship for the roughly 11 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States, but that bill stalled in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
Republicans have stated their desire to work on immigration reform legislation, especially during this election year. House Republicans had just recently released a strategy to fix the immigration system that made border security the number one priority. Republicans believe that once the border is secure, then they could work on providing amnesty to illegal immigrants. However, Ryan doubts that the bill will go to far this year citing mistrust Republicans have with the Obama administration. House Republicans are skeptical as to whether or not the President, if he signed the Republican plan, will genuinely follow through with his end of the deal. Speaking on the issue, Senator Mark Rubio (R-Florida) recently stated that “We just don’t think government will enforce the law anyway.”
Ryan believes that immigration reform is unlikely to get passed this year, but believes the issue is not one that has a time limit. However, in an interview on Friday, Obama stated that he was going to do everything he could in the coming months to “see if we can get this over the finish line.” While Obama secured over 70 percent of all Hispanic and Asian votes during his last election, he seems concerned about the possibility of Republicans gaining the majority in both the Senate and the House. He wants to pass some sort of legislation before November’s elections, in which 435 House of Representative Seats are at stake, in order to keep these demographics voting Democrat.
Obama has mentioned that he wants any legislation passed that provides a pathway to citizenship, in which Republican would only agree to after the border was secure. The issue is of paramount political importance to these politicians, who do not want to lose voters to the other party. Obama has previously criticized border enforcement efforts, but may have to work with them if he hopes to achieve immigration reform during his presidency. It is expected that the Republicans will maintain their hold on the House, meaning that he will have to work with their plans. Both political parties have stated that they want to fix the broken system, but both seem unwilling to cede any power to their opposition.
Paul Ryan’s prediction that immigration reform will not get passed this year is troubling to the millions who have been waiting for years for something to be done. Many illegal immigrants in the United States are constantly stuck in a state of limbo due to the laws on the books. However, the rising Hispanic population and their growing power at the ballet box have forced politicians to seriously look at the issue.
By Peter Grazul