Pundits agree that the House will be a tougher fight than the Senate to secure a bill and Republicans may insist on passing several piecemeal pieces of legislation that deal with border security and the undocumented rather than a sweeping comprehensive bill but momentum is certainly on the side of pro reform advocates. Unlike the last attempt to pass the Kennedy Mc Cain immigration bill of 2006, immigration reform boasts a much broader coalition of supporters and critically it has the support of most of the Republican leadership with their eye on the White House in 2016. The upcoming Congressional mid terms in 2014 will also have a role to play in rushing this through the legislative process by the Fall, as no one on either side of the aisle wants such a divisive and politically hot potato to mar the elections.
The Irish will have their part to play in how this pans out come September after the Congress returns from its month long August summer recess. Irish groups are already mobilizing across the country in their home districts to educate Republicans on the issue and bring to light the fact that 50,000 Irish undocumented workers are affected. Time will tell if that gift of the gab for which we are famous can get the message across.
*Breandán G. Magee is the Executive Director Chicago Irish Immigrant Support
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