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Immigration Appears Stalled In Congress: What Now?

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Immigration Appears Stalled In Congress: What Now?
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It appears as if Congress is abandoning immigration reform for now after none of the proposals voted on last week gained the required 60 votes to move on. Congress is likely moving on to other issues unless they feel pressed to return to immigration reform by outside forces, Height Securities analyst Stefanie Miller said in a Wednesday note. 

Two possible catalysts exist for a quick return to immigration reform, Miller said: media coverage of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients being deported and an intervention by the Supreme Court.

"The images of families torn apart would likely galvanize lawmakers to take action," Miller said. “An intervention by the U.S. Supreme Court in the DACA issue could also drive lawmakers to get involved.”

The Supreme Court has yet to indicate whether it will hear an appeal on DACA from a lower court, but Miller said the High Court could make a decision by Friday. If the court decides to hear the case, Miller said Congress could take action to avoid policy being dictated by the courts. 

While the DACA program is scheduled to begin winding down March 5, the deadline has been extended indefinitely due to a pair of court cases, Miller said. 

If immigration reform is rekindled in coming months, it will likely be focused on DACA recipients, border security and family-based immigration policy, and will likely not include changes to the H-1B visa program, according to Height Securities. 

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