What Happens Next for Immigration Reform?

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House Republican leadership may be able to hold caucus together for Immigration bills.
House Republican leadership may be able to hold caucus together for Immigration bills.

With the Republican immigration reform principles finally being released, here is what you can expect to see happen next.

A series of reform bills will be introduced by Republicans between February and April. Except for the Republican version of the DREAM Act, all of these bills will be substantial disappointments to anyone who believes that comprehensive reform is necessary. The issue for those supporting reform, including immigrants and their families as well as unions, immigrant organizations, different business sectors, and religious communities, will be whether any of the bills offers enough to be worth giving up the dream of comprehensive reform.

There will be substantial blowback against the Republican leadership proposals both by the Tea Party and the immigrant rights movement. The fact that the Tea Party is likely to oppose the measures does not mean that these proposals are necessarily good for immigrants.

If bills do get introduced, they can move fairly quickly through the Republican-controlled legislative process of committee hearings and mark-up. The Speaker of the House has considerable procedural power over the progress of the bills. We could see a bill passed by the summer.


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