Democratic Senator says Congress can pass immigration reform but delay enforcement until after Obama leaves office

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) insisted yesterday that Congress should pass immigration reform this year but proposed delaying the enforcement of the law until after President Barack Obama leaves office in 2017.

Appearing on Sunday’s Meet The Press, Schumer proposed the enforcement delay in response to House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to not bring up immigration reform for a vote, citing the Republicans’ distrust of the President to enforce the border security requirements.

Read more: Boehner backpedals on immigration reform

“There’s a simple solution. Let’s enact a law this year, but simply not let it actually start ’til 2017 after President Obama’s term is over,” Schumer told David Gregory. “Now, I think the rap against him, that he won’t enforce the law, is false…But you can actually have the law start in 2017 without doing much violence to it.”

Schumer also pointed out that there is little hope that the GOP-majority House will take up immigration reform next year or in 2016.

“The view that we can get this done in 2015, ’16 is false. You’ll have the Republican presidential primary to pull people over to the right, the Tea Party maximizes,” said Schumer.

At a recent House Budget Committee hearing, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf confirmed that the Senate’s immigration reform bill, which Schumer said the House should pass, would “increase the size of the [U.S.] economy and reduce the budget deficit.”

“We did a very thorough analysis of the legislation that was passed by the Senate to increase immigration, and we thought that legislation would reduce the budget deficit in this decade and the following decade. We thought it would increase the size of the economy. It would increase overall GDP. And also not right away but over time, it would increase GDP per person in the country,” said Elmendorf. 

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