Gun Control Fight May Edge Immigration Debate for House

“President Barack Obama promised immigration reform leaders that their cause would top his second-term agenda, making January their month.

But immigration advocates are beginning to worry that their fight could slip behind a cause that wasn’t even an issue during the election: gun control,” Politico reports.

“This month the White House was supposed to begin its push in earnest for immigration reform. Instead, after a gunman killed 20 school children in Newtown, Conn., Obama tapped Vice President Joe Biden to lead a group that will release a reform proposal in mid-January — just when immigration activists had hoped all eyes would be on their issue.”

License Debate Is About Public Safety, Immigration Rules

“Alejandra Gomez, a 21-year-old mother of two, is one of tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants living in New Mexico. An unknown number have been issued driver’s licenses under a 2003 law that let people without Social Security numbers, including immigrants who aren’t in the United States legally, get licenses. Like Gomez, many use those licenses to accomplish everyday tasks such as going to work, taking children to school and buying groceries,” KSUN TV reports.

“But there is a darker side to the driver’s license law, critics say: fraud and, worse, New Mexico’s welcome sign to criminal rings that exploit the law. One doesn’t have to look far to find evidence of abuse.”

Mixed Views in GOP on Immigration Changes

“With immigration expected to be a top issue in the new Congress, lawmakers in both parties continue to call for a bipartisan approach — while also preparing for battle. The messaging from many House Democrats and Republicans about the chances of passing an immigration overhaul remains optimistic. And some of them, such as Republican Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida and Democrat Zoe Lofgren of California, have begun to meet privately,” NPR reports.

“The Republican leadership has installed a pair of immigration hawks to chair the House Judiciary Committee and its subcommittee that would be charged with drafting any immigration bills. In an apparent countermove, a veteran Democrat has given up his seniority on the coveted Financial Services Committee to join the judiciary panel and help push through possible reforms.”

Montana The Latest Innovator in Helping Immigration Enforcement

“Pennsylvania and Montana have pushed through two new laws to combat the threat of illegal immigration. While Pennsylvania wants employees to use the federal E-Verify system to ensure that employees are legal U.S. residents, Montana is looking to do something a little different: Deny illegal immigrants state services,” says.