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Agreement on immigration reforms appears out of reach

In frustrating news for supporters of immigration reform, it was announced that the Senate's immigration bill -- which had bi-partisan support -- is dead in the House of Representatives. That means an agreement for comprehensive immigration reform this legislative session seems far off.

Over the weekend, several lawmakers from both political parties gave interviews saying that they hoped it might still be possible for House lawmakers to come together after the bill is split up into smaller pieces, which is the plan of House Republicans.

Republicans in the House have said that the Senate's bill goes too far and is too easy on individuals who are currently in the country illegally. One of the most contested aspects of the bill is the path to citizenship that would be offered to nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants. They are also demanding a more stringent approach to border security.

Those in the House who support the Senate's version of immigration reform are now working hard to salvage as much of the bill as they can. These lawmakers say that a path to citizenship is necessary, otherwise millions of people will continue to live in the shadows. But the most conservative members of the House aren't buying the argument.

These lawmakers say that immigrants who are in the country illegally should continue to be deported because they broke the law. On the other hand, less conservative Republicans in the House say that there should be a path to citizenship for some but not all undocumented immigrants, including those who arrived as children.

Ultimately, it will likely be up to these individuals to carry a bill to law, though it might look different from what was approved by the Senate.

Source: Boston Globe, "Hope for broad action on immigration dims," Noah Bierman, July 15, 2013

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