Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), announced Tuesday that he believes that the immigration reform bill will not have the 60 votes necessary to pass in the Senate. To many this comes as no surprise, but a variety of recent events could also help explain the lack of positivity surrounding the bill. Senator Rubio is quoted saying, “One of the things we've learned over the last few weeks — through the open process that happened through the committee process and all the public input that we've gotten — is how little confidence people have that the federal government will enforce the law."
With New Jersey Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg’s death on Monday, the face of the Senate is slightly changed. The Democratic advantage is shifted down to a 54-46 lead, as Governor Chris Christie will appoint the interim Senator until the special election is taken in October. The 60 votes that are now needed for the bill to pass now relay on more Republicans than ever before. The problem then shifts back to Rubio’s remarks about enforcement. While most Republicans are clearly for reform in the immigration system, ensuring that the federal government has the capability to enforce any laws set forth by the bill is the main sticking point. It is very clear however that even though the Senate bill is likely to not pass, immigration reform is not dead at all. The House is already in the planning stages of introducing their own bill if/when the Senate bill fails.
Silvio Canto, Jr., a political analyst writing for the American Thinker, says that, “The mistake is writing these ‘comprehensive bills’ rather than focus on areas where bipartisan support is strong, such as border security and a guest worker visa program. Both of these would pass quickly and go a long way toward assuring the public about the order and giving people already here a chance to work legally in the U.S.”
Canto believes that focusing on smaller more individualized bills would prove to be more successful for initiating immigration reform. It would happen at a much slower pace than any comprehensive reform would have; however, it would likely have a shorter time line as well in terms of pushing it through Congress. Immigration reform is at the forefront of the future of the Republican Party as one of the biggest aims of the party is to increase their support among the minority population, in particular the Hispanic population.