Now that a deal has been reached on the debt ceiling, immigration reform could come back to the front of the legislative line. In an interview with Univision last week, President Obama said immigration reform would go back on the agenda. (White House press secretary Jay Carney later clarified that President Obama meant that he would continue the effort that has been under way for most of the year.)
The House GOP is split on taking up reform again. Representative Labrador (R-ID) indicated reform wouldn’t happen until next year. Much of the GOP is skeptical that there are any good-faith negotiations to be had after the debt ceiling fight. Senator Rubio (R-FL) blamed President Obama for creating an unfriendly negotiating environment. But some see Representative Cantor (R-VA) introducing the KIDS Act that would legalize so-called DREAMers; Democrats would then be hard-pressed not to pass the act or bring it to conference in the Senate. Either way, many identify the GOP as the group that can break the impasse.
The interest in immigration reform is still there. Representative Gutierrez (D-IL) urged the president to reach out to Speaker Boehner and thus set the stage for an agreement. In addition, hundreds of GOP supporters are expected in Washington, DC, at the end of the month to pressure members into passing some sort of immigration reform.