Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid still sees hope for an immigration bill to pass the House, telling a local newspaper on Tuesday that he thinks House Speaker John Boehner is “going to cave in.”
“I think there’s going to be so much pressure on the House that they’ll have to pass it,” Reid told the Las Vegas Sun editorial board Tuesday.
“This is an issue that isn’t going to go away,” he said. “It’s here. We have 11 million people here who are not going to be sent back to their country of origin. They can’t do that. They can’t do it fiscally. They can’t do it physically. It’s nearly impossible.”
The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill last summer, but the House of Representatives has not acted on the legislation yet. Though it won’t see any substantial progress this year, Boehner has said immigration reform is “absolutely not” dead.
“Is immigration reform dead? Absolutely not,” Boehner said last month. “I believe that Congress needs to deal with this issue. Our committees are continuing to do their work. There are a lot of private conversations that are underway to try to figure out, how do we best move on a common-sense, step-by-step basis to address this very important issue … because it is a very important issue.”
Just yesterday, Boehner announced the hiring of Rebecca Tallent, director of immigration policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, as his point person on immigration issues. The addition of Tallent, an immigration policy expert, to the staff could signal a renewed emphasis Boehner intends to place on immigration reform.
Tallent also formerly served as chief of staff to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., one of the main architects of the Senate’s bipartisan “Gang of Eight” plan.