A small glint of hope that the compromise on immigration reform legislation that passed through the Senate might make it through the House of Representatives came through Speaker John Boeher’s (R-Ohio) insinuation that he “may embrace a series of limited changes to the nation’s immigration laws.” He has also hired Rebecca Tallent, longtime immigration adviser to Senator John McCain, a republican who also backs broad immigration reforms. This new hire may indicate a change in sentiment and a willingness to move forward. Boeher has also publicly criticized the Tea Party’s opposition to Congress’s budget deal.
However, while these clues indicate that Boehner and House republicans are willing to compromise, the legislation passed through the Senate is already a compromise. Senate democrats wanted expanded and accessible pathways to visas and citizenship for immigrants as well as educational and naturalization opportunities for undocumented young immigrants who were brought into the United States as children. Senate republicans wanted increased border security. The legislation they created encapsulated both and has garnered support from the Latino community and GOP strategists alike, as well as labor leaders, religious leaders, and business leaders throughout the country.
The bill is currently stalled in the House of Representatives, and although Boehner indicates they are willing to move forward, they are only willing to do so incrementally and step-by-step towards “limited” changes. President Obama agrees with moving in incremental steps to complete immigration reform, so long as no key provisions are omitted. The problem is that many of these key provisions aren’t likely to fall under the definition of “limited changes.”
Source: Benen, Steve. “Boehner signals support for ‘limited’ immigration plan,” MSNBC. January 2, 2014. http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/boehner-eyes-limited-immigration-plan.
This article was written by Rebecca Little