Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that he believes House Speaker John Boehner is “going to cave in” and immigration reform will pass the House next year.
“I feel positive we will get an immigration bill passed,” Reid told the Las Vegas Sun’s editorial board in a Tuesday interview.
The Senate passed an immigration overhaul in June, but efforts in the House have moved more slowly, with GOP leaders championing a step-by-step approach.
According to Reid, the country’s demographics will be a primary factor in moving Republican House members toward supporting reform.
“We have a lot of these congressional districts, they don’t care because they don’t have people of color in their congressional districts,” Reid told the Sun. “They don’t care. But there are a number of them who do care. If the Republicans ever want to elect a Republican president again, they’re going to have to get right with the Hispanic and Asian community who by more than 70 percent voted for [President Barack] Obama last time.”
While the House’s slower pace has frustrated immigration activists, Reid told the paper that he expects Boehner to move forward to pass immigration reform in 2014.
“This is an issue that isn’t going to go away,” the Nevada Democrat told the paper. “It’s here. We have 11 million people here who are not going to be sent back to their country of origin. They can’t do that. They can’t do it fiscally. They can’t do it physically. It’s nearly impossible.”
Perhaps bolstering Reid’s contention that Boehner “will cave,” the Washington Times reported Tuesday that Boehner has hired former Sen. John McCain staffer Rebecca Tallent, a “longtime advocate of legalizing illegal immigrants to be an adviser.”
In November, Boehner declared immigration reform “absolutely not” dead, noting that he was please President Obama is open to a piecemeal approach.