WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama has added his doubts to deepening gloom over hopes for immigration reform, saying the Republican-led House of Representatives shows no sign of quickly advancing new legislation.
“I don’t think we’re going to see it before the August recess,” Obama told a Denver affiliate of the Telemundo television channel in an interview screened late Tuesday.
“If in fact the House recognized the smart thing, the right thing to do, was to go ahead and send the Senate bill to the floor for a vote, I think it would pass tomorrow,” he said.
The House has balked at approving a bipartisan Senate bill that would beef up border security while providing a pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants.
Should the bill ever become law, it would be the most far-reaching immigration reform passed in nearly 30 years.
Supporters of the bill had hoped to rally Republicans behind it after the increasingly powerful Hispanic vote swung against them in the 2012 elections.
But many House Republicans, particularly those from conservative districts with few Hispanic constituents, have rejected the Senate bill as “amnesty” for people they view as law-breakers.