Both Democratic and Republican members of Congress from Illinois are hopeful the immigration conversation in Washington turns back towards a comprehensive reform bill soon. U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) is among those hopeful politicians, saying his concern with President Obama’s executive order is it’s too fragile to be a long-term solution on immigration.
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“Once we pass a clean Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill, we will move forward and inch forward,” Kirk said. “In my case, the worry I have with the President’s executive order is it’s too weak to hang the rights and privileges of millions of Americans on. As everyone knows, an executive order can be changed at any time by any president.”
U.S Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Chicago) also remains hopeful that Congress will revisit the idea of comprehensive immigration reform, though he admits the negotiations with Republicans in the previous Congress proved to be fruitless.
“They even said you all can’t become citizens right away. We didn’t walk away from the table,” Gutierrez said, recalling discussions over the bill. “They are committing a huge mistake.”
The first step is settling the fight over Homeland Security funding. Congress could only agree on a one-week appropriation as conservative Republicans in the House want to attach riders to a long-term appropriation bill to reverse Obama’s executive actions deferring deportations on millions of undocumented immigrants.