Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Push for Immigration Reform Hampered By Piecemeal Approach

| Posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013, at 12:30 p.m. ET. Last modified, Wednesday., Oct. 30, 2013, at 10:32 a.m. ET

Immigration reform advocates are turning on the heat on Capitol Hill to pass a bill before the end of this year. In particular, conservative groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Conservative Union and Evangelical churches are heavily lobbying those House Republicans who might provide the votes necessary to pass the bill. 
As part of that effort, the Bipartisan Policy Center issued a report on the economic impact of immigration reform legilstation. The report is based on data used for the bipartisan bill approved by the Senate in June. NBC Latino's Suzanne Gamboa reports:
Overall, the study found immigration reform produces economic benefits that adds new, younger workers who increase the size and strength of the labor force, jumpstart new housing construction, reduce deficits in the long-term, offset the aging workforce and increase wages over time.
However, Marco Rubioone of the senators who helped draft the Senate’s billsaid it may be time to move on parts of immigration where there is consensus, i.e., the piecemeal approach favored by key Republicans in the House. More likely than not, that would mean no pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants; in other words, a failure to find a permanent solution to this problem. Yet, Politico's Seung Min Kim considers that those comments many not be the death knell for the (immigration reform) effort that they seem"
Immigration reformers argue that the remarks don’t actually change the political calculus in the GOP-led House, which was never going to pass the Senate’s comprehensive bill anyway. Reform foes say Rubio lost any credibility he had with House conservatives by authoring the Gang of Eight bill in the first place.

The Florida senator has long called for giving House Republicans some space to come up with their own plan. And some advocates believe Rubio’s call to focus on piecemeal aspects of reform could actually pave the way for some kind of agreement between the House and Senate.

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