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Immigration Reform Put On The Back Burner as White House and Congress Continue To Debate Syria

Sep 20, 2013

"The debate over whether or not to take military action in Syria that has recently gripped the White House and Congress has caused one hot button domestic issue to fall by the wayside: immigration. Immigration overhaul has been at the center of President Obama's domestic agenda, with the president arguing there is no reason why the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" immigration bill shouldn't pass by this summer's end. However, summer recess is over, and Congress is likely to delay considering the issue until the end of the year, if not longer.

The gap between the expectations of reform proponents and the reality they face in Washington widens more each day. Simultaneously, the window of time Congress has to take action shrinks if the House does not take up the immigration bill the Senate passed in June by the end of this year, members will have to decide whether to vote on the highly controversial issue in the middle of a Congressional election year. Congress only has nine working days in September, 14 in October, and eight each in November and December. The delay on voting on the bill could likely extend until after the November elections, in large part because Republican primaries start in the spring, and many Congresspeople may be unwilling to touch the immigration issue right before facing their conservative constituents.

But advocates of immigration overhaul do not intend to let up. Focus is being directed to October, when rallies in at least 40 cities will take place on the fifth of the month, followed by a march and rally in Washington on October 8. Leaders say the issue of Syria, as well as the debt ceiling debate, should not become "excuses" to ignore immigration. Were gearing up for late October were going to push really hard for votes this fall and negotiations with the Senate, Frank Sharry, the executive director of advocacy group America's Voice, to the New York Times. We never figured wed have an opportunity in September because of the budget stuff and with the debt ceiling."" - To read the full article, Click here for Bustle.com link

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