MEXICO CITY—Since President Bush’s victory, President Vicente Fox of Mexico and his Cabinet ministers have expressed the hope that reform of U.S. immigration policy—promised by Bush at the start of his first term but shoved into the background by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks—will again take center stage.
But experts say that any optimism may be misplaced because of Republican gains in the House and Senate.
“The White House might be tempted to make a renewed push” for immigration reform, said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a research group that promotes curbs on immigration. “But if they do, they are not going to get anywhere because Congress appears to have moved in the restrictionist direction.”
Bush has promised to discuss the issue, but reform proponents were disappointed that the president did not mention immigration during Thursday’s news conference, when he outlined his agenda for a second term. The White House later said he intended to seek passage of the plan he unveiled in January, which would create a new class of guest workers while offering limited amnesty to undocumented immigrants.