Early talk about immigration reform in 2017

Politico today published an article about prospects for a reform package in 2017.

On June 27, 2013 the Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S.744). The House ignored it. The 2013 bill, analyzed here, was the product of the Gang of Eight – four Republicans (Flake, Graham, McCain, and Rubio) and four Democrats (Bennet, Durbin, Menendez, and Schumer).

Key parts of the bill include a lengthy process for undocumented persons to qualify for green cards; beefed up Mexican border security with standards on performance; and a new “W” visa for non-agricultural temporary workers.

Hillary Clinton has already said that she will bring up immigration reform in her first 100 days in office.

Senator Graham, a gang of eight member, is ready for reform. Politico quoted Graham: “I’m going to take the Gang of Eight bill out, dust it off and ask anybody and everybody who wants to work with me to make it better to do so.”

Senator Schumer, per Politico: “Poised to become majority leader if Democrats take the Senate this year. And the New York senator already said immigration reform would be a top priority, most recently in an interview last week.”

Senator Flake: “The hour [when] we can move it, we’ve got to move it,” said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), another member of the Gang of Eight, which formed after the 2012 election. “If they don’t [understand the urgency], we’ll do another autopsy after the next election and we’ll determine we’ve got to do it.”

Senator Rubio: “I don’t believe that a comprehensive approach can pass, nor do I believe at this point, given everything that’s transpired, that it’s the right way forward,” said Rubio, who recently announced he would run for reelection. That was a position he stressed repeatedly during his presidential bid when the conservative base accused him of backing “amnesty.”

Senator Menendez: “He is “certainly open” to reviving the dormant group. But he argued against piecemeal reform, saying it quickly would become untenable. For instance, if Congress begins to move on more visas for Silicon Valley, the seafood industry will want foreign workers, he said. Then the broader agricultural sector will demand its own reforms, which will spur advocates for push harder for those living here without papers.”

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