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      Monday
      Sep092013

      Fallout from Syria: Immigration Reform at Risk of Delay

      Protesters stand their ground in front of the Capitol, Washington D.C. (Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)Despite an impressive mass movement for immigration reform in the dead of summer, a top administration official wondered aloud to the Bulletin this week whether the Republican Party is able or willing to deliver on the issue. 

      Syria has hugely complicated the task of immigration reform by capturing the calendar on Capitol Hill, where the Republican’s worry about losing Latino voters "has faded", according to the New York Times.

      In an extraordinary show of organizational strength, the coalition for immigration reform staged 1,200 events in August. As many as 600,000 petitions were delivered to Rep. John Boehner's Ohio district office. Rallies are planned in forty cities this month, including an Oct. 8 march in Washington D.C.; all demand a vote in the House this year. 

      Even if the Syrian crisis ebbs, the delay already has added to calendar pressures for a budget deal by October. That could push a congressional vote on the overhaul into the 2014 elections, or beyond, according to congressional sources. 

      The Senate version of immigration reform, sure to be weakened by the Republican House, represents incremental progress towards citizenship at a heavy price in border militarization. Agreeing that the "path to citizenship" will not be traveled in her own lifetime, a longtime political strategist told the Bulletin this week, "Once it's achieved, all the bad things can be reversed."

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      More information on the militarization of the border can be found here.

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