Cecilia Munoz, White House director of the Domestic Policy Council, said President Barack Obama has no intention of letting Congress move forward without passing immigration reform, Fox News reported. Munoz added that the pressure is now on lawmakers to approve legislation.
According to the source, lobbyists and immigration advocates are demanding congressional leaders to pass immigration reform on Capitol Hill and as they traveled to their home districts for August recess.
“It’s not just the advocacy groups in Washington hearing [about immigration reform],” Munoz told Fox News. “You’re going to see members of congress hearing from pastors in their district, you’re going to see them hearing from local growers in their district, from business leaders in their districts. The consensus around immigration reform is incredibly strong. It’s bipartisan. It has depth in community all around the country and I think lawmakers are going to be seeing this, this August.”
The White House remained optimistic that comprehensive immigration reform could pass after Congressman Paul Ryan said at a town hall meeting a reform vote including a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants would come by October. According to Fox News, the White House wants a bill that’s comprehensive, although discussions among House Republicans before their break suggested they are more interested in passing legislation piece by piece.
Immigration a Divider Among Republicans
The debate surrounding immigration has divided many Republicans serving in Congress. According to the Voice of America, a pathway to citizenship remains the biggest obstacle for Republican lawmakers.
There are several moderate Republicans that are in agreement of passing a version of immigration reform, signaling to immigrants that the party is interested in their needs. The source said that the first priority for House Republicans is to increase border protection. They also have no plans to follow the Senate with a comprehensive bill.