The House controlled by the Republicans departed on Thursday for holiday break, with no progress on immigration reform. Leaders from both the Democratic and the Republican parties have stated that they would return to the immigration reform issue in 2014.
According to Representative Robert W. Goodlatte, Republican of Virginia and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, immigration will be a top priority in 2014. He said that the House will come up with smaller bills that would strengthen border security and improve the legal immigration process. Apart from that, he stated that bills that would put the unauthorized residents on a pathway to legal status will be introduced.
More than 1,000 immigration advocates fanned out through the House and occupied the offices of several Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Thursday. Several protestors sat on the carpet at the offices of Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia and prayed there.
The House Republicans are not willing to take up the Senate immigration bill that includes a path to U.S. citizenship for the immigrants living here illegally. The House Judiciary Committee has approved smaller bills but those bills would not legalize the undocumented immigrants. Democrats will not support such bills and they aim at legalizing the country’s undocumented immigrants.
This year, immigration advocacy groups conducted marches, town hall meetings and prayer vigils. Immigration reform activists also fasted on the National Mall for immigration reform. These protestors ended their protest on Thursday as the members of the House prepared to leave.
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi stood on the steps of Capitol along with the immigration activists who had been fasting for immigration reform on the National Mall. She said that immigration reform will happen. The protest had little effect on the conservative Republicans who are still against immigration reform. The fasters however gained support among the Democrats and other immigration advocacy groups.