Given the distance between what the Senate passed and what the House Republicans want, Brad Bannon thinks it's unlikely we'll get a new immigration reform law this year.
A democratic political consultant with Bannon Communications Research in Washington, D.C., Bannon says this is just another example of congress caught in a gridlock and can't do its job and why so few Americans trust Congress. He says this is why Democrats put so many compromises in the bill to make Republicans happy.
For instance, the senate bill provides for 20,000 border control agents, which Bannon feels is overkill but the republicans felt strongly about it. The Senate bill also provides a path to citizenship but the hurdles to become a citizen under the senate bill are "higher than the border fence," as there is a 13 year wait to become a citizen and only after significant background checks are passed, says Bannon.
Those compromises should be enough to pacify Republicans but it isn't, says Bannon, adding the republicans want a bill entirely on border security. Democrats say they will do that and then after a few years go back to the table to see about putting together a citizen bill, but that is unacceptable to President Obama. The senate democrats want a comprehensive bill to have both border control and citizenship.
Republicans had a great opportunity to beat an incumbent president in a bad economy and take control of the U.S. Senate but "they whiffed," says Bannon. He adds that one reason 2012 was so bad for republicans was because you had a big increase in Latino turnout in 2008. Latinos were more likely to vote Democrat in 2012 than in 2008 and in fact, 71% of Latinos voted for the President.
Bannon says the reality is Latinos are the fastest-growing population segment in the nation and as that happens, that means disaster for the republicans, unless they get on board and pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill. If by the fall of 2014 there still is no bill, the republicans are going to get "annihilated by Latino voters," says Bannon and will make their life incredibly difficult. However, republicans don't seem to care, adds Bannon.
According to Bannon, border security is not much of a problem anymore. Since Obama has been President, illegal immigration has dropped significantly because there is more border security than 4-5 years ago under the Bush administration.
Bannon feels spending more money on 20,000 border agents is ridiculous and he would cut the path to citizenship from 13 years to 10 years but Republicans won't accept anything that provides for citizenship.
Brad Bannon is President of Bannon Communications Research, a Washington, D.C.-based political polling and consulting firm. More information can be found at www.bannoncr.com. This video commentary was hosted by The Legal Broadcast Network, which provides on-demand legal content.