The best chance for Comprehensive Immigration Reform in many years was squandered in 2013. An exciting spring led to a successful bipartisan Senate Bill 744 in June. That bill was never seriously considered by the House. Tea Party Republicans effectively held control of the Republican Party’s majority power and refused to allow CIR to come to a vote in spite of Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) interest in an immigration bill.
The Tea Party wing may have overplayed its hand in October’s budget battle that shut down the federal government. After several weeks both parties’ centrists wrestled control back from the extremists and compromised on a bill to end the government shut-down. The wrestling back of control may have signaled that the centrists are ready to lead. If so, Comprehensive Immigration Reform may once again be targeted as the type of policy that both parties can get behind.
Most significantly, Maj. Leader Boehner hired Becky Tallent in December 2013. Ms. Tallent is a long-time advisor to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who has repeatedly made reform the United States’ immigration laws a priority. Reportedly, Ms. Tallent’s hire was made because of Rep. Boehner’s desire for an immigration bill.