immigration reform

How The Senate Immigration Debate Stalled

Rep. Ruben Kihuen on His Journey From Undocumented Immigrant to Congressman

Ruben Kihuen came to the U.S. from Mexico with his parents when he was 8 years old. After they overstayed their visa, they fell into undocumented status. Today, he’s a Democratic congressman for Nevada’s 4th District, and Roll Call sat down to hear about that journey.

Immigration Hard-Liners Balk at Ryan's Stance

Ryan poses for a selfie with a tourist outside the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Even as Paul D. Ryan’s path to becoming House speaker looks increasingly clear, his record as an outspoken advocate for rewriting the nation’s immigration laws may be one of the final reasons giving pause to some in his conference’s right flank.  

The Wisconsin Republican has said he wants unified support from his House colleagues as a condition of accepting the job, but the conservative wing of the party — particularly members of the House Freedom Caucus — is uneasy about his work toward a comprehensive immigration bill in 2013. A vote by the Freedom Caucus Wednesday night denied Ryan a formal endorsement , but 70 percent of the roughly 40-member group said they would back Ryan, who deemed it enough support to move forward with his bid for speaker.  

McConnell: No Immigration Bill While Obama Is President (Video)

Immigration reform is dead in this Congress, per McConnell. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama won't get to sign an immigration bill, per Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.  

"Not in this Congress," McConnell said when asked about the prospects for immigration legislation. McConnell: No Immigration Bill While Obama Is President

Sanctuary Cities Bills Filed as Families Testify About Killings

Grassley introduced a new bill Tuesday aimed at "sanctuary cities." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

"Kate was beautiful, kind, caring, loving, and deep in faith; Kate had a special soul, a kind and giving heart, the most contagious laugh, and a smile that would light up a room," said Jim Steinle.  

A doting father, Steinle was describing his daughter, 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle — who was killed weeks ago in San Francisco allegedly by a felon here illegally who'd already been deported multiple times — to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.  "Kate loved to travel, spend time with her friends, and most of all spend time with her family," Steinle continued. "In fact, the day she was killed, we were walking arm in arm on Pier 14 in San Francisco, enjoying a wonderful day together."  

How Big Is the Ted Cruz Caucus?

Eleven Republicans sided with Ted Cruz on all three key votes on the 'cromnibus.' (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It's a question that will prove crucial next year when Mitch McConnell takes the reins of a new Senate: Just how big is the Ted Cruz caucus?  

Three votes on the "cromnibus" late Saturday night suggest it could be as large as 22 senators — a dangerously high number for McConnell — or as few as a handful.  

Immigration Not High on McConnell Agenda

Immigration isn't at the top of McConnell's priority list. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The incoming Senate majority leader isn't eager to tackle immigration after President Barack Obama's recent executive action.  

While Republicans in both chambers are pushing responses to Obama, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in an interview Friday not to expect the sort of big immigration package that moved with bipartisan support under Democratic leadership in the current Congress. "Well I can tell you for sure that what the president did after the election makes it unlikely that it is an early item for this conference. But no one believes the current immigration system is not broken," McConnell said. "At some point, I believe it would be appropriate to do something to secure the border and maybe to address other parts of the legal immigration system as well.