Despite the optimism of Senate passage of S.744 in June, 2013, as of early September 2013, time seems to be running out for House action and passage of comprehensive immigration reform this year. Since June, the House has refused to take up and S.744 has insisted that it will draft its own immigration reform measures and pass it provided a majority Republicans alone support it. This “go slow” approach embraces House conservative and Tea party concerns that any comprehensive immigration bill contain even tougher enforcement provisions than those in the Senate bill, and removes eligibility for those in the U.S. without status to become permanent residents – a prerequisite for U.S. citizenship. With that as a strategy, other events will now foreseeably gobble House time and focus. The issue of U.S. military action in Syria, the looming debt ceiling, and the fiscal year 2014 budget may consume the House’s focus until November, leaving only that month before the December Christmas break. And next year is midterm elections in the House where concern for being re-elected trumps real debate and action on the always divisive issue of immigration.
Stewart Rabinowitz practices United States immigration and nationality law. He is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. is an immigration law firm representing businesses, families, and individuals.