The debate over passing an immigration bill has ended in a deadlock going into the end of 2013. Both the Republicans and Democrats have not made the proper compromise that will allow for immigration reform. The most highly debated topic regarding immigration reform is allowing a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Democrats have rejected every bill proposed by the Republicans thus far because they did not have a clear path towards citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Although immigration reform has been considered dead by many political figures due to the uncompromising nature of Congress, there are signs that progress may be made in 2014. One sign that there may be progress made in the coming year is the recent passing of the budget deal. The Government shutdown for 16 days starting on October 1st and as a result many federal offices were forced to shut down. No one was certain when the standoff between the House and Senate would end but there was plenty of pressure from the people of the United States to pass a budget to end the shutdown. Due to mounting pressure and public outcry, the Congressional Republicans gave in and conceded defeat on the Wednesday 16th, 2013. This showed that Republicans are willing to concede after staying their ground on certain matters to show their constituents that they are indeed flexing their muscles.
Another sign that Immigration Reform may make progress in 2014 comes from a top ally of John Boehner, Rep. Tom Cole. An article in The Hill has Cole predicting House Republicans may vote on multiple reform measures in 2014:
With the caveat that the House will not vote on the Senate-passed bill, Cole envisions a situation where Boehner allows a vote on a couple or all of the four-House-Judiciary Committee-passed measures on immigration reform/border security.
Noting that Boehner has made it “abundantly clear” that he’d like to move immigration bills, Cole said that “we just saw a budget deal that made progress that brought people together from both sides from very different perspectives and I suspect that can be done on immigration as well.”
Boehner had once declared that he would not allow Republicans to get drawn into compromise talks on immigration. Cole has now said that Boehner wants votes on GOP measures on immigration. He also said that some sort of compromise between Republicans and Democrats is possible in the wake of the budget deal.
Source: Washington Post, “The Morning Plum: Immigration reform coming in 2014?,” Greg Sargent,
December 20, 2013
Source: The Hill, “GOP congressman: Immigration reform can happen in 2014,” Molly K. Hooper,
December 20, 2013
Source: NY Times, “Republicans Back Down, Ending Crisis Over Shutdown and Debt Limit,” Jonathan Weisman and Ashley Parker,
October 16, 2013