The prospects for a bipartisan immigration bill in the House of Representatives took a turn for the worst when House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte was reported as “flatly opposing” a path to citizenship, even for so-called DREAMers. However, it still appears as though Chairman Goodlatte will continue to push piecemeal legislation through the House when Congress returns from the August recess. If legislation moves along that path, the Senate will have the opportunity to negotiate with the House as early as this fall.
Meanwhile, the August recess town hall meetings members are conducting are less intense than expected. Activists, for and against, the bill are using the meetings in order make themselves heard. Thus far the pressure hasn’t been reported enough to make House Republicans who were initially supportive of immigration reform back off from their efforts. Some studies are even bolstering support for immigration reform on the grounds of economic stimulus, both low-skilled and high-skilled.
Both sides of the aisle continue to push their agendas and measure public support. Democratic Representative Luis Gutierrez claims enough votes to pass comprehensive immigration reform in the House, if only it were put to a vote. And Republicans have a big conference call coming up where members will relay what they’ve heard from their constituents over the break.