The Avenue

This Week in Immigration Reform: The Government Shutdown Looms

Nicole Prchal Svajlenka

Immigration reform was in the backseat last week as Congress debated but made no progress on avoiding a federal government shutdown. A DHS memo released Friday detailed how a shutdown would impact Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S .Citizenship and Immigration Services.

On the legislative front, the House Judiciary Committee scheduled a hearing for Tuesday, “Implementation of an Entry-Exit System: Still Waiting After All these Years.” In addition, the Protect Family Values at the Border Act was recently introduced; the bill aims to “establish humane practices for repatriation of aliens at the border, establish effective standards for the treatment of certain aliens in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security, and for other purposes.”

As expected, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s immigration plan has not netted much traction with Republicans. However, it has fared poorly among Democrats as well. Notable dissent comes from former members of the House group working on a comprehensive bill. Rep. Luis Gutierrez thinks the proposal lacks a bipartisan solution that will appeal to Republicans; Rep. Zoe Lofgren said she thought the proposal is “meant to rally Democrats,” but “in the end, since the Republicans are the majority in the House, in order to pass something in the House, there has to be bipartisan support.”

There was lots of speculation about what reform might look like. Check out the likely options for legalization or citizenship, a calculated discussion of timing, and a recap of recent Republican action in the House.  Politico reports on a White House strategy for reform. 

In a week focused mostly on other policy issues, attention turned to newly released immigration-related research. The Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends Project published new estimates on unauthorized immigration and the Immigration Policy Center published estimates on the costs of not enacting immigration reform. Advocates have been preparing for events throughout the country on October 5, culminating in a Washington, D.C. rally October 8.

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