After recently stating that immigration reform legislation had no chance of passing through Congress by the end of the year, and signaling his overall skepticism on the issue, House Speaker John Boehner changed his tune slightly on Thursday.
On Nov. 21, Rep. Boehner held a news conference to address immigration reform where he not only spoke of the need to get some sort of legislation passed, but praised President Barack Obama for indicating that he was open to compromising with Congress.
Boehner’s press conference
At the press conference, Boehner made several comments that should be encouraging to advocates for immigration reform. He reiterated a sentiment he expressed during the 2012 election season that reforming the immigration system is a necessary step forward for the country, while also offering praise for the president’s recently stated position that he was open to a step-by-step process.
“Is immigration reform dead? Absolutely not,” Boehner said at the news conference Thursday. “I have made clear, going back to the day after the last election in 2012, that it was time for Congress to deal with this issue. I was encouraged that the president said that he wouldn’t stand in the way of step-by-step immigration reform.”
Path forward still unclear
While Boehner’s comments certainly seem to make Congressional action on immigration reform more likely, how exactly that is going to happen is still far from clear. The president has said multiple times that he is willing to address the issue in the gradual manner that House Republicans prefer. But he has also said he won’t do that if the process doesn’t address the major problems with the system, a path to citizenship for the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants among them.
House Republicans, on the other hand, have also stated their desire to deal with immigration reform. Although, they have offered very few specifics on how to go about that process.