Status of Immigration Reform in Congress

Any major immigration reform regarding the path to citizenship for undocumented workers may be taking a backseat to other pressing matters facing Congress and the President such as the crisis in Syria, a short-term spending bill to avoid a complete government shutdown, the upcoming the debt ceiling in October and partisanship disagreements on implementation of Obamacare. With the end of the year approaching soon, and just 9 working days left in September, 14 working days in October, 8 working days in November and 8 working days in December before Congress adjourns for the holidays and the new Congress resumes next year many fear that nothing substantive will get passed this year. Some fear that the matter will be pushed out of the limelight next year as well with the upcoming 2014 elections on the horizon.

After four years of negotiations, there is still no comprehensive amnesty bill. While the Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform bill in June, House Republicans have viewed it as “too liberal.”  Last month at a town meeting, Senator John McCain, one of the sponsors of the Senate immigration reform bill, expressed his concerns about how important it is to pass the legislation by the end of this year. Similarly, Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who is working on his own bipartisan immigration bill in the House, offered the same view on NBC Latino. Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Chair of the Judiciary Committee that oversees immigration policy, has suggested that the House GOP pass the own bill to establish the GOP party’s position and let next year’s Congress work with putting it into a final form.

American Public Opinion

According to a recent Rasmussen telephone national survey poll of 1,000 voters, 53% of Americans said they were in favor of giving legal status to undocumented illegal persons living here in the United States as long as the borders are secured with 36% believing that it was more important to legalize status of undocumented workers. Even with public opinion in favor of immigration reform 28% polled said they did not believe that immigration reform would pass this year.

If you need assistance with an immigration matter or have questions concerning a work visa, your immigration status, student visa or other immigration concerns contact my office immediately.