On Sunday, New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D), a member of the Senate Gang of Eight, said that he predicts passage of the immigration reform bill in the Senate by July 4 on NBC’s Meet the Press. He also indicated that the immigration bill will reach the Senate floor by June 10.
Schumer said, “We’re going to put immigration on the floor starting on June 10. I predict it will pass the Senate by July 4. We are hoping to get 70 votes, up to 70 votes, which means a lot of Republicans. And we’re willing to entertain amendments that don’t damage the core principles of the bill, but improve the bill – just as we did in committee.”
Schumer’s statement comes just a week after his fellow Gang of Eight colleague, Senator Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), told Univision that there were not enough votes to pass the immigration reform bill in the Senate.
Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida) said that the Senate bill will not advance in the House on CNN’s State of the Union.
Speaker Boehner and House Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) have indicated that in the lower chamber, members will not simply take up the Senate bill and attempt to pass it. Goodlatte has said that he does not like the Senate bill because legal status is given almost immediately.
““We have some very serious concerns about the Senate bill, and I won’t speak for anybody other than myself, but I believe the Senate bill is on a course, if it were adopted and put into law, to repeat the mistakes made in 1986,” he said, referring to the Reagan-era immigration law.
“There’s a long pathway to citizenship in the Senate bill, but the legal status is given almost immediately,” Goodlatte said. He criticized promises in the Senate proposal to implement a strengthened e-verify system for employers and enhancements to border security that include a way to document both entry and exit that would come after the initial legalization for immigrants. “That is the trap. That is the mistake that was made in 1986. We can’t repeat it again,” he said.”
While Schumer is optimistic about the Senate bill and the House is working on its own version, voters do not believe that there will be a deal on immigration reform. In a new Quinnipiac University poll, a majority of voters (71%) do not believe that Democrats and Republicans will come to an agreement on immigration. And 54% of voters surveyed support a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented.