The debate on immigration reform continues to go back and forth. Recently, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) proposed a compromise that would involve delaying immigration reform until after President Obama leaves office.
Sen. Schumer is one of the members of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight.” This group is made up of U.S. Senators and is responsible for drafting the most recent immigration reform bill.Sen. Schumer is considered to be one of the leaders and is also known for his role in the Emergency Border Security Supplemental Appropriations Act in 2010.
Sen. Schumer made the announcement on February 9th, during an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press. Over the past few weeks, there have been comments made regarding a collective feeling of distrust by House Republicans directed at the Obama Administration. In order to alleviate this issue, Sen. Schumer offered the proposal that the government enact the law, but not implement it until after President Obama leaves the White House.
On the program, Sen. Schumer stated “[m]any Republicans have said . . . they want to do immigration reform, but they don't trust the president to enforce the law, particularly the enforcement parts.”
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) was also a guest on the show and was able to immediately provide some comments. Sen. Portman had previously voted against the immigration bill. Sen. Portman stated that he would be amenable to the idea, but there would need to be stricter measures related to enforcement. “In other words, be sure the border is secure, [and] be sure that you have a workforce enforcement program that works,” Sen. Portman said.
This proposal by Sen. Schumer is a way for him and other Democrats to basically call the Republicans' bluff. Up until this point, House Republicans have stated that one big concern of theirs is the fact that there is distrust as to what enforcement of the immigration reform legislation would truly look like, after it has been passed and signed into law.
Specifically, in early February 2014, Rep. Paul Ryan stated that one thing that all Republicans can agree on is that “we don't trust the president to enforce the law.” Just a few days after Rep. Ryan's statement, House Speaker John Boehner seemingly echoed that feeling when explaining the reason why immigration reform will not likely be passed anytime soon.
Any initial distrust was most likely furthered after a recent rule issued by the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department. The rule outlined two significant exemptions related to refugee and asylum status. These exemptions permit aliens, who provided “insignificant” or “limited” material support for terror groups, to no longer be automatically denied from qualifying for asylum or refugee status.
This new policy will impact approximately 3,000 immigrants who have asylum cases pending and an additional unknown number of people who are currently in the process of being deported.
I'm interested to hear your take on this proposal from Sen. Schumer. How will House Republicans react to this proposal from Sen. Schumer? Is this what is needed in order to see immigration reform pass in 2014?