Immigration reform not dead in House, Boehner says
WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Amidst all the fireworks on Capitol Hill over the government shutdown and the troubled rollout of health care reform, immigration reform appears to be lost in the shuffle.
But despite some saying the legislation is as good as dead, supporters of reform aren't giving up their fight.
Purposely placed in front of the Capitol, a tent is supposed to be a reminder that immigration still lingers in the House. Inside, a handful of protesters have decided to go without food or water.
“This is my tenth day doing it,” says Cristian Avila. “The fatigue comes a lot quicker than normal.”
Avila calls fasting a moral responsibility.
“You can no longer sit back and ignore the issue like it's never there. You have to stand up and do something about it," he says.
Avila, 23, came from Arizona, what he calls Ground Zero in the fight for immigration reform.
“We’re here to put the pressure on,” he says. “We’re here to highlight the pain. We’re here to highlight the struggle.”
And the pressure is mounting.
Senate majority leader Eric Cantor Wednesday got a visit, not just at his home, but at his office, where 11 young immigrant activists were arrested.
Activists also showed up at the home of Speaker John Boehner's home. Boehner later told reporters immigration reform is not dead, but did not lay out a time table.
“This year, nothing is going to happen,” says Mark Krikorian, the executive director at the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that studies the impact of immigration in the U.S.
Krikorian says not to expect immigration reform to pass the House anytime soon because of the lingering debt ceiling fight.
“At that point you’re entering primary season and then eventually general election, so I honestly don’t think anything is going to happen,” he says.
Krikorian admits the House may pass pieces of legislation addressing different immigration issues, but the big question is whether the Senate will take up those separate bills.