July 1st, 2010
11:30 AM ET
4 years ago

Sources: Immigration reform chances slim this year

Despite President Obama's push, congressional sources tell CNN that there is virtually no chance of Congress taking up comprehensive immigration reform before November's midterm elections.
Despite President Obama's push, congressional sources tell CNN that there is virtually no chance of Congress taking up comprehensive immigration reform before November's midterm elections.

Washington (CNN) - Several senior Democratic sources tell CNN Thursday that they still see virtually no chance of Congress taking up comprehensive immigration reform before November's midterm elections.

Their comments come as President Barack Obama gives a major address on fixing the nation's immigration system through comprehensive reform.

Though some hold out hope for some potential movement during a lame duck session of Congress after the election, most sources say the more realistic earliest target is next year. But even that, according to one source, may be "happy talk."

Still, these sources say politically it's crucial for the president to give a speech like he is today in order to put pressure on Republicans, and more importantly to reassure angry Latino voters that Democrats haven't forgotten about this issue.

Democrats on the ballot this year are well aware that they are the ones likely to be hurt by anger among Latino voters for not moving on immigration legislation, as Obama promised as a candidate for president in the 2008 campaign.

There is some quiet talk about trying to figure out how to move pieces of immigration reform, like the Dream Act, but there may not even be votes for that. That bill would provide certain illegal alien students who graduate from U.S. high schools the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll conducted in late May indicated that public support for beefing up security along the U.S. border with Mexico had grown significantly. According to the survey, nearly nine out of ten Americans want to beef up U.S. law enforcement along the border with Mexico.

Eight in ten questioned also supported a program that would allow illegal immigrants already in the U.S. to stay here and apply for legal residency if they had a job and paid back taxes. But only 38 percent say that program should be a higher priority than border security and other get-tough proposals. Six in ten said border security was a the higher priority.

-CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: Congress • Immigration • issues • President Obama
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Rickster

    Three headlines from today:

    "DEBT SOARS TO HIGHEST LEVEL SINCE WWII..."

    "New jobless claims rise [again]..."

    "Pending home sales plunge record 30%..."

    Heckuva job, Barry!

    July 1, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. philme1

    we've all heard the saying...If it ain't broke, don't fix it. well in america, the saying should really say...If it's broke, don't fix it.

    July 1, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. Cashflow

    Are you kidding me? The President just said he feels that there should not be punishment for someone who just wants to make a living (in regards to illegals being in our country). Isn't that what drug dealers, prostitutes, bank robbers and embezzelers are trying to do? Trying to keep their family afloat, making life better for themselves and their families?? Please – what is the difference?? If you are illegal you are illegal!

    July 1, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  4. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Just focus on sealing the border and enforce the existing law. We should end the endless and extremely $ expensive war on drugs and use that money towards guarding the border and treatment programs for addicts. Demand for illegal drugs is getting worse not better and we can't build jails fast enough to keep up with the ever increasing number of prisoners.

    July 1, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. alam

    I'm graduated from the US with a master's degree in Computer Science and then came back to my country after my education was completed. One IT company in the US applied for me a HI visa as a Computer Scientist to come and work for that company. It was 2007 May, now it's 2010 still no decision from US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). the decision should be made within 3 months while I'm waiting for 3 years. This is how US beaurucracy works in the USCIS. Some people just break the law and cross the border illegally and politicians want to give them citizenship just because it involves Latino votes. None talk for me although I'm doing everything legally and could benefit the US greatly with my American Computer Science degree. Where is fairness and justice?

    July 1, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  6. sophia milchanowski

    Pres. Obama is missing the point of the current crisis we are in . I live near the border of Arizona. The immigrants of yesterday are not the illegals of today. The illegals come here, do not contribute to America but strain its resources and send the money they make back home. They do not want to fit in but live in their own illegal world but take what they can get from America. Even more of a crisis are the drug runners coming across the border who will shoot you on sight if you come across them. We have also seen prayer items from the religion of Islam left in the garbage they leave. Are terrorists coming across too? We need the federal government to do their job of securing the border (which it is not!) to keep out illegals and drug runners. Then lets talk about immigration reform.

    July 1, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  7. Midwest

    With the likes of that genious Stark leading the ILLEGAL immigration reform "parade" I can understand the slim reference.

    Maybe the US should just give up and let everyone in....

    Give them the "new" healthcare (not expected to reduce/level out the federal medical spending until 2032) , give them jobs (oh wait we don't have enough of those), housing tax credit refunds (like the federal prisoners scammed us out of this past year), send their kids to school (school systems already broke and making more cuts), an affordable Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac loan and while we are at it lets buy the clunker they came across the border in, that worked out real well this last time... made "us" millions

    Or just send them to work printing money....we are going to need it!

    July 1, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. The Real Me

    Just more of the same...Nothing!

    July 1, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. thor

    Why isn't Obama focused more on putting people back to work.?He did the same thing with healthcare reform.The reported unemplotment rate has been somewhere close to 10% and has been that way seems like forever,at least since he's been in office.And he doesn't seemed focused enough on the economy.Just runs around complaining how Bush messed it up for him.

    July 1, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  10. malabar

    1. we are all immigrants 2. if 1 person gets a free pass every1 shud tear up their work visas and resident cards and we shud get rid of bordr patrl and give refunds to those that paid to enter legally and. . .

    July 1, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  11. LIP

    You can almost bet that there won't be any reform until after the 2012 elections and then it might not happen until two years after that or maybe even later...for as long as our elected officials can put it off until it is to their best advantage. Cowards...all of them!

    July 1, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. Angus McDugan

    The big show is that Obama just needs to create the perception that he wants to allow everyone from Mexico in the country by the 2012 elections. He does not have to do anything, just create the illusion. He needs those votes because he is rapidly losing the votes of rational and intelligent Americans.

    July 1, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. snow

    SECURE THE BORDER, then you can have meaningful and productive work on immigration reform. No amnesty and illegals go to the back of the line behind immigrants who have been in line for years without breaking the law by sneaking across the border.

    July 1, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. Johnny DC

    Why would he risk offending the millions of Latino votes in an election year?

    There's one thing Obama knows how to do – win an election. After that, your guess is as good as mine. He's never run anything other than a campaign with success.

    July 1, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  15. Rick McDaniel

    Any Dem who would actually vote for that, at this point in time, would have almost zero chance of re-election, in November.

    I suspect that any GOP member who would be foolish enough to do that, might also find themselves ousted by their own party.

    July 1, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  16. REG in AZ

    “When it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!” We all understand that warning; well how about when what they say is so much BS it is impossible? The Republicans infer that they are going to reduce taxes while they reduce the deficit, they are going to cut spending while they create jobs and they are going to resolve all of the problems … all without any clue how as they are just using clichés to perpetuate a con. Common sense tells us that those things can’t all be achieved quickly and at the same time, so common sense also is saying that they are just telling the lies they think will manipulate public opinion. They constantly just fault Obama, who didn’t cause the problems and who is actually aggressively addressing the problems while they refuse to help, and they never have any answers, only just bold and arrogant efforts to disguise a return to more of the same that got us the problems. As the warning goes, be skeptical of those promising only positives and put more trust in those who tell the truth, even when identifying some negatives. We really can’t afford to be conned into going back to ‘more of the same’.

    July 1, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    Thor, perhaps now would be a good time for you (and many other posters here as well) to google the Reagan Recession Years.

    The yearly list of unemployment during Reagan's tenure is too lengthly to post.

    July 1, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  18. Shucks

    The Governor of Arizona has all the answers. Just ask her. Maybe we should pull all our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan and put them all along the Mexican border. Does Arizona have the money to pay for thousands of troops? Maybe all the supporters of her racist laws will make contibutions to keep the borders uncrossable. Maybe a wall like the one that kept Berlin separated during the cold war. Immigration reform is extremely complicated, and this moron and her legion of followers have no idea the legal implications of trying to close a border, when employers here in the US hire illegals by the millions to do work that no Americans want to do. If it was that simple, the last administration would have done something other than sit on their hands.

    July 1, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. vic

    We know our immigration system is not working

    We know we have to fix it

    The problem is how to fix . we can find the right solution if our politicians stop playing politics . if corporate America ignore their $ think about the country and pundits zip their mouth

    July 1, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. Jeff from Chicago

    Just waiting to hear who obummer is going to blame for this one not getting done.

    Highest debt ever,
    unemployment 2% worse than the highest obummer said it would go if we followed him

    Worse president ever so far and we still have 2 years to go.

    Wehn GWB left office I thought it would be decades before his imaged changed.
    Obummer has changed it in less than 2 years, I feel for those Harvard students when a "C" Yale student is shown to be smarter than a straight "A" Harvard joke.

    July 1, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  21. Ken in Pisgah Forest

    As long as the big contributors to the Republican party continue to employ illegals, the Republicans will do what they can to fight reform. Either illegals will leave or they will become legal. Regardless of the outcome, the bottom wages these guys pay will go up.

    I haven't heard of any big raids by the INS lately, and I rarely hear of senior managers going to jail for hiring illegals, but they need to be out there enforcing the laws.

    As for increased border security, did the questionaire ask if people would be willing to have their taxes go up to pay for it?

    July 1, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  22. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    I guess we are blessed to have the Obozo worshippers like "dominican mama 4 obama, " who doesn't know the difference between a Senator and a Congressman when she thinks she is being funny in that libertard sort of way all of the libertards do. They are so busy demeaning and degrading people they can't get their facts straight.

    July 1, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. JP

    Obama doesn't want reform he wants amnesty and amnesty = votes. Obama should be thrown out of office for not doing his job and closing the border.

    July 1, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  24. Don

    Ms. Arizona. Do your own job. How many Bachmans, Angles and Palins can one country produce anyway?

    July 1, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. Debbie

    @Rickster July 1st, 2010 11:40 am ET

    Three headlines from today:

    "DEBT SOARS TO HIGHEST LEVEL SINCE WWII..."
    ***Thank you to subprime loan lenders....

    "New jobless claims rise [again]..."
    ***Thank you to corporations that outsourced jobs to India/China, brought in H1-B Visa "anchor" immigrants, and refused to use E-Verify.

    "Pending home sales plunge record 30%..."
    ***Thank you to Wall Street and Banks!

    Heckuva job, Barry!
    ***Heckuva job W! George hired 'em and we're paying for 'em!

    July 1, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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