Updated 04:52 PM EST, Mon, Mar 01, 2021

Immigration Reform News 2013: Is Immigration Overhaul Dead for 2013?

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A top pro-reform Republican representative said that House Republicans will not act on immigration reform in this calendar year, meaning it will most likely have to wait until next year. 

According to TalkingPointsMemo, California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the majority whip, said in a meeting with immigration reform advocates that there aren't enough days left for the House to act, so an immigration overhaul would have to wait until next year. 

Rep. Mario Diaz Balart of Florida, who has been involved in bipartisan negotiations over immigration for years, also told The Washington Post that immigration reform was effectively dead this year. 

"We have very few days available on the floor in the House, so I don't think we're going to be able to do it this year," Diaz-Balart said. 

He said that any hopes for reform in the near future would be dashed if something is not done by February or March, before the GOP primaries. 

"I'm hopeful that we can get to it early next year," he said. "But I am keenly aware that next year, you start running into the election cycle. If we cannot get it done by early next year, then it's clearly dead. It flatlines."

Both Democratic and Republican reformers have been pushing for immigration reform; three House Republicans publicly supported the House Democrats' immigration legislation, which is modeled off the Senate-passed reform bill. However, GOP leaders have not scheduled a vote on reform this year. 

GOP Rep. Joe Heck of Nevada said it would be "disappointing" if GOP leaders were to "punt the issue until 2014 for political reasons."

Diaz-Balart said that political officials working on legislation for 11 million undocumented immigrants are making "great progress." He said that he may be able to get more than half of the GOP caucus to support it, although he said it would have to be bipartisan to succeed. 

Conservatives are reluctant to vote for the Kids Act, which is a provision that would offer a path to citizenship for the children of immigrants born in the U.S. There is no sign that GOP leaders will vote on the measure, or that any votes will be held this year. 

If reform waits till next year, which is an election year, not voting for immigration reform could pose a primary threat to sitting House members, according to Tech Crunch. Hence, if reform is dealt with in 2014--even though the far right will still not agree with the reform deal--some Republicans may be more inclined to take a vote to appease constituents in predominantly Latino electoral districts. 

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