Immigration Reform Hopes Dim
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
CAMBRIDGE, MD. - For a brief period in late January, there
appeared to be some hope that immigration reform could actually get done in
this session of Congress. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) had said that the
House Republican Conference would put together a set of principles upon which
they would advance a set of immigration reform bills this year.
At the end of the two-day retreat of the House Republican
Conference on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in early February, Speaker Boehner’s
office did release a one page outline of immigration reform principles. Click
here to download a copy of the House Republican Conference immigration reform principals.
Hopes Quickly Dashed
However, the internal process of developing the principles was
so contentious and reaction from the Tea Party wing so negative, that any hopes
for action in 2014 were quickly dashed just days after the principles were
After seeing the principals, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
(R-Kentucky) said that he saw no chance that the House and Senate could agree
on an immigration reform bill in 2014. The Senate had passed and sent to the
House a bipartisan immigration reform bill back in June of 2013.
Impact on 2016
Some in the Republican Party are concerned that if
immigration reform does not pass in 2014 that their chances of capturing the White
House in 2016 get considerably smaller. In 2012, President Obama carried the
Hispanic American vote by 72% and Hispanics are one of the fastest-growing
segments of the electorate.
Immigration Reform Depends
on Internal Republican Party Struggle
So whether there is any chance of immigration reform passing
in 2014 depends largely on the internal battle in the Republican Party between
the Tea Party elements and the party’s more moderate elements. As of now, the
Tea Party elements seem to have the upper hand.