Advocates of immigration reform just can’t catch a break. First it was Syria. Now the entire federal government is shut down. And an all but inevitable fight over the debt ceiling in two weeks is likely to push reform plans even further out of the spotlight.
So in an attempt to recapture some of the momentum and urgency the issue attracted after the 2012 election — when GOP leaders conceded they needed to fix the nation’s immigration system in part to attract badly needed Hispanic voters — House Democrats this week released their own version of an immigration reform bill.
The bill would legalize most of the country’s 11 million unauthorized immigrants and largely mirrors the legislation crafted in part by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York that passed out of the Senate this summer, minus an amendment that set aside $38 billion in border security.
House Republicans have already rejected the Senate comprehensive reform bill, saying they