Comprehensive immigration reform — including a path to citizenship — will likely be on the table next Congress, according to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
“I think that in 2017, both Democrats and Republicans will come together and pass immigration reform,” Schumer, who is expected to become Senate Democrats’ leader next Congress, said in a Center for Migration Studies podcast interview with Kevin Appleby, the organization’s Senior Director of International Migration Policy.
“Paul Ryan has made no secret about the fact that he has been open to immigration reform — the new Speaker of the House” he added. “Our Republican-Democratic coalition in the Senate will be alive and well, and I think if the election results show that this anti-immigration hostility won’t work politically, people will say let’s get it done.
Schumer, a member of the Gang of Eight that nearly shepherded comprehensive immigration reform across the finish line last Congress, stressed that should he officially become the Democratic leader, he will make comprehensive immigration reform a “high priority.”
The New York Democrat described his hopes for a future comprehensive immigration reform bill as similar to the one the Gang of Eight crafted in 2013, calling it a “pretty good model.”
Schumer said, like the Gang of Eight bill, he would expect a path to citizenship, increases to high and low-skilled workers admitted into the U.S., and restrictions on foreign workers in sectors where there is are “plenty” of workers in America already.
“So the basic, basic platform would stay,” Schumer said, adding that he hopes the enforcement aspects that were included in the Gang of Eight bill go toward a “more progressive direction.”
“I am not certain, but quite — very hopeful — that we will get a very good bill, along the lines of the bill that was passed by the Senate in 2017, and it will be worth waiting for, I hope,” he added.
(H/T Politico Huddle)