Slim chance to pass immigration reform bill this year

By Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Jul 04 2014 10:12 AM | Updated as of Jul 04 2014 06:12 PM

LAS VEGAS – US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said there is a slim to nothing chance that the immigration reform bill will pass in the House this summer.

Reid puts the blame on House Speaker John Boehner for not putting the bill to a vote.

Reid, who recently spoke with Filipino community leaders, said the GOP should suffer at the polls because of their inaction on a very pressing matter.

Reid said there would be relief for immigrants now that the House put the bill to a vote.

"95 percent of the Democrats will vote for the House and I believe majority of Republicans in the House will vote for it. But Boehner won't allow that vote. So this is where we are. We have to wait for the president to do something administratively," said Reid.

After Boehner told President Barack Obama that he won't bring immigration up for a vote this year, the president responded with a declaration that he would use his executive power to help fix America's broken immigration system.

Meantime, Reid said Jose Antonio Vargas' controversial documentary, "Documented", which is being shown on CNN, helps shed light on an issue that needs to be addressed immediately.

"We need to get it done. Family and unification is so important to America. The longer this goes undone its hard on families," he said.

Reid also said that he personally knows people who have suffered because of backlogs in getting visas.

"My executive secretary is Filipino, and she hasn't seen her father in 20 years…20 years. Finally, she was able to see him. So this is what is all about," he said.

While Reid believes immigration reform won't be tackled until next year, community leaders said they continue to stay hopeful that lawmakers would come to their senses and pass the bill before the year ends.

"We need people power. We need people to get off of their duff, get out there participate. We really need to show the Congress, even if there's a need to do a march like what happened before the African- American did their march that was very effective," said Fil-Am community leader, Rozita Lee.

Another Fil-Am leader, Gloria Caoili added, "The work is on us. We have to make the members of Congress [know] that we are tuned in. We are not in the fog. That we care about that this is about our lives. We really have to let them know. We cannot be made political pawns. We have to take charge of our own lives and we got to be loud and proud."