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Kiss Immigration Reform Goodbye

At the Speaker's weekly briefing, Boehner suggests immigration reform won't happen until there's a new president.

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Once more, dreams for comprehensive immigration reform have died in the House.

At Speaker of the House John Boehner's weekly briefing, Boehner suggested a bill for reform would not move forward until there was a new presidential administration.

Small business owners are likely to be dismayed by the partisan infighting over an issue that directly affects them. Many, particularly those in high tech hot spots like Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley, have difficulty finding enough qualified workers to fill their rapidly expanding worker rolls. On the other end of the spectrum, agricultural businesses are similarly unable to find enough lower-skilled workers to fill out their ranks.

"For the past 15 months I've talked about the need to get immigration reform done," Boehner said on a C-Span broadcast of the briefing Thursday. "I underestimated the difficulty in moving forward this year."

Various bills have been presented in both the House and Senate over the past 12 months, but they inevitably fail to move forward in the House. In June a bipartisan bill passed the Senate by 68-32, but the House refused to take up the legislation.

Boehner said he would continue to talk with the Republican caucus in the House about immigration reform, but he laid the blame at President Obama's feet, suggesting the issue was one of trust.

"The American people, including many of my members, don't trust the reform we are talking about will be implemented as we intended it to be," Boehner said. "There is widespread doubt whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws." 

There are 11 million undocumented workers in the United States, and Democrats generally favor offering them a path to citizenship as part of immigration reform. Republicans generally oppose that provision.

IMAGE: Getty Images
Last updated: Feb 6, 2014

JEREMY QUITTNER is a staff writer for Inc. magazine and Inc.com. He previously covered technology for American Banker and entrepreneurship for BusinessWeek.
@JeremyQuittner




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