This Week in Immigration Reform: Stagnation

Congress seemingly can’t act to keep government’s lights on let alone address a large multifaceted issue like immigration. This Politico piece sums up the frustration many feel as time runs out on a host of potential crises. The House canceled its next week-long recess, set to begin September 23, to tackle the many issues they face. While the House is not likely to take up reform that week, it will free up additional working days that could potentially be used to address reform.

House Judiciary Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) was a guest on Tuesday’s Kojo Nnamdi Show, where he signaled that immigration-related bills are ready for a vote after Syria and the debt limit are dealt with and stressed the need to “find the appropriate legal status for people who are not lawfully here.” Goodlatte has recently been a target for those frustrated by lack of progress on immigration reform in the House.

Meanwhile, Democratic Reps. Luis Gutierrez and Ruben Hinojosa wrote to their congressional colleagues, explaining their opposition of the House Judiciary Committee’s SAFE Act and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi “host[ed] a dinner at her home Monday for a slew of House Democrats for a conversation focused on immigration.”

In an interview with ABC’s This Week, President Obama argued, “If Speaker Boehner put that bill on the floor of the House of Representatives right now, it would pass,” arguing that a faction of the House GOP is unwilling to compromise.

Frustration also bubbled to the surface for some reform advocates on the opinion pages. In the Wall Street Journal, AOL founder Steve Case argued that “As Congress dawdles, the world steals our talent,” citing examples of high-skilled immigration successes other countries experienced over the summer. Jorge Ramos wrote a scathing assessment of the delay on an immigration reform vote.

Some religious groups are still clinging to hope. The Interfaith Immigration Coalition announced that they are part of a Fast Action for Immigration Reform which will include fasting, prayer and rallies. Jewish leadership took steps to call for reform during their High Holy Day season.

Higher education is getting involved. In Florida, 18 of the state’s college presidents signed a letter asking Florida’s congressional delegation to pass an immigration overhaul.

On the business front, “more than 100 businesses, including some of the nation’s largest companies, set a letter to the House of Representatives reminding them not to forget about immigration.”  Notably, the New York Times reports, Signatories included companies that have not pushed for reform in the past, including blue-chippers like Procter & Gamble, American Express, and Coca-Cola.

Also of note: