President Obama Pushes Reform Of "Broken Immigration System, But Prospects For Immigration Bill Remain Poor

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On October 24, 2013, President Obama expressed the need for immigration reform, stating “[i]t doesn’t make sense to have 11 million people who are in this country illegally without any incentive or any way for them to come out of the shadows, get right with the law, meet their responsibilities and permit their families then to move ahead.” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) similarly stated that he is hopeful that immigration reform can be addressed by the end of the year.  Despite the apparent bipartisan consensus on the need to reach legislative agreement on an immirgration bill, there are only nineteen days left in the current congressional session. Moreover, the comprehensive immigration bill passed by the Senate this summer has languished in the House for several months and 2014 is a mid-term election year, which normally does not lend itself to bipartisan compromise over politically sensitive issues.  Therefore, while unforeseen developments could yet intervene, the prospects of passing a comprehensive immigration reform law in the near-term appear to be poor until or after the 2014 mid-term elections. Therefore, employers should not expect broad-based changes to immigration rules applicable to them for the foreseeable future.