What to Watch for in Immigration - Week of February 24, 2014

Dems Divided?  Apparently, there are 12 Democratic representatives who have yet to co-sponsor H.R. 15, a bill similar to the bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate last year.  Is this a sign of division within the Democratic party over immigration?  Not really.  For some, the bill focuses too much on border enforcement.  For others, it does not focus enough on diversity.  Most of the holdouts are hardly kindred spirits with the opponents of reform within the GOP.

Polls cast doubt on immigration reform in 2014.  A new poll of Iowa Republicans casts further doubt on the ability of Congress to pass immigration reform in 2014.  In the poll, 53% of those questioned would not vote for a candidate who supports a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented.  While Iowa is only one state, the poll is a reminder that election season has begun anew, with states throughout the country beginning their primaries soon.  Supporting immigration reform is just too politically risky for GOPers looking to win their seats in Congress.

Did Mexico just solve immigration in the U.S.?  Texas governor Rick Perry seems to think so.  Citing the possibility of a coming energy boom in Mexico brought about by private investment in Pemex, Mexico's state-owned petroleum monopoly, Perry seems to think the number of jobs created will attract immigrants who would normally come to the U.S. to seek employment in Mexico.  While jobs may be created by the new investment, Perry may be oversimplifying the issue just a tad.  Time will tell...

Numbers are out on the shutdown's affect on immigration courts.  If you found yourself wondering how the government shutdown affected U.S. immigration courts, wonder no more.  The government shutdown last October seems to have delayed 37,000 cases of individuals in removal proceedings.  While this may have been a benefit to those with few options in removal proceedings, it certainly extended the wait times of those who did qualify for benefits.  It also further slowed down and already backlogged and overworked immigration court system.

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