This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Senate Passes Immigration Bill--Will It Ever See the Light of Day in the House?

The big demographic news today was the passage by the US Senate of a comprehensive immigration bill. It passed by a vote of 68 to 32, with bipartisan support. But it's way too early to celebrate because, as the New York Times reports:
The strong 68-to-32 vote in the often polarized Senate tossed the issue into the House, where the Republican leadership has said that it will not take up the Senate measure and is instead focused on much narrower legislation that would not provide a path to citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the country. Party leaders hope that the Senate action will put pressure on the House.
A cynic might say that Republics in the Senate knew that they could vote for it pretty readily, no matter what they thought of it, since the odds of passage in the House are so slim. As BBC News noted, House Speaker John Boehner had his own ideas about the bill:
On Thursday, Mr Boehner, the Republican House speaker, said the House would not take up the Senate bill directly.
"We're going to do our own bill... that reflects the will of our majority and the will of the American people," he said.
Mr Boehner's comments cast doubt on the chances legislation will quickly reach Mr Obama's desk, and could portend failure for immigration reform entirely, analysts say.
It seems pretty clear to me that Boehner is watching the wrong polls (again?) if he thinks that the American people oppose the bill passed by the Senate.

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