Immigration reform was “supposed” to happen after the 2012 election, because Democrats wanted reform, and Republicans wanted to not lose the Latino demographic by over 40 points again, as Mitt Romney did in his loss to Barack Obama. The Senate passed a sweeping immigration reform bill in the summer of 2013, and the Republican-controlled House…did nothing. Then they shut down the government. Now they occasionally mention the possibility of immigration reform in the way that some people casually mention how they might write a novel one day.
At this point, it’s as likely as not that Republicans will just try to wait out the Obama presidency, hoping to win in 2016, and not have to deal with immigration reform beyond adding a few turrets to the border fence.
For the roughly 11.7 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, this is not an academic argument. It’s a human tragedy.