New Life For Immigration Reform


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Credit: Wikimedia Commons
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators unveiled an immigration proposal a year ago last week, a comprehensive measure that covered a range of issues in a system that lawmakers usually refer to as “broken.”
That package appeared to have legislative momentum in a year when no members of Congress would have to stand for re-election. In June, the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 68 to 32.
Then, it all fizzled.
Fiscal focus might have distracted from the reforms, and the eventual government shutdown helped little. But the U.S. House, with its Republican majority, could not find enough common ground on which to build the changes.
A pulse might still be found, however.
On Tuesday, President Obama mentioned his desire for immigration reform in the State of the Union Address, saying it would help the nation’s economy. On Thursday, House Republicans came out with a list of principles that would guide their consideration of a system overhaul.
Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, said last week that the odds of immigration reform will continue to get better.
“It is hard for the Republicans to walk away from the notion that demographically this is very important to their future as a party,” she said.
Ms. McCaskill refers to the general Democratic leaning of the Latino voting bloc, a concern for Republicans in November’s off-year election and in the run-up to the 2016 presidential balloting.
The Pew Research Center said that 71 percent of Latino voters went for Mr. Obama, a Democrat, in 2012, a rate that topped even the 67 percent he got in 2008.
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