Immigration reform is seeing a rejuvenated push. The question is, will it become a reality in 2014?
Here to keep you up-to-date on the debate and legislative progress every Monday is THE UPDATE, a weekly blog series whose panel of experts will analyze how recent events affect the prospects for real reform. The panelists will offer an insider’s view of what’s happening right now on Capitol Hill, bolstered by their decades of experience with immigration reform and the legislative process. Media representatives who wish to speak with one of the panelists, please click here. If you would like to read previous editions of THE UPDATE, please click here. You can read the Spanish version at “Reforma migratoria de 2014: ‘LA ACTUALIZACIÓN’ para el lunes 19 de Mayo.”
Given the most recent developments, are we getting any closer to immigration reform?
Lisa Sharon Harper, Director of Mobilizing, Sojourners:
A new but firm consensus seems to have emerged on the timeline for immigration reform. Both leading House Republicans and President Obama agree that immigration reform needs to happen by the end of summer or the window of opportunity for legislative action will have closed. Last week, Speaker Boehner met with several San Antonio groups and discussed the issue, stating, “There are some members of our party who just do not want to deal with this. It’s no secret,” he said. “I do believe the vast majority of our members do want to deal with this, they want to deal with it openly, honestly and fairly.”
Groups wary of the limited window that is left on the congressional calendar have once again ramped up their efforts to pressure House members. The head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce also publicly warned Republicans of the potential political consequences to the party of not passing commonsense immigration reform, saying, “If the Republicans don’t do it, they shouldn’t bother to run a candidate in 2016.” Political leaders are always making electoral calculations; it is an occupational hazard. While it is impossible to know the motivations of any elected leader, we do know what’s at stake for our nation – and the millions of lives hanging in the balance – with this issue. The moral reasons for taking action are deeply compelling, but if those aren’t enough, then hopefully self-interest will unite both Republicans and Democrats in responding to this yet unaddressed crisis.
THE UPDATE will appear every Monday until the dust settles on the legislative battle over comprehensive immigration reform. If you wish to raise your voice for fair reform, please visit our Action Center. You can also learn more about the issues by reading two interviews with someone personally impacted by America’s broken immigration system, Jessica Colotl. Also, don’t forget that you can subscribe to this blog by adding your email address to the box at the top left of this page.