Bipartisan House immigration group reports ‘incredible progress’

A bipartisan House group is making “really good progress” on immigration reform legislation despite missing a target date for an agreement, a top Republican participant said.

“I am now more sure than ever that we’re going to have a bipartisan bill,” a longtime advocate of comprehensive reform, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), said in an interview. “We’re making incredible progress.”

Diaz-Balart is a member of a House group that includes more than a half dozen liberal and conservative lawmakers who have been working for years behind closed doors on an immigration overhaul. As talks accelerated in recent months, people involved in the effort said the group had hoped to announce an agreement around President Obama’s State of the Union address.

That date came and went, and now aides say that while the talks are ongoing, participants are not setting a deadline or target date for releasing legislation.

“There is no timetable. There is no target. There is no expiration date,” a House Democratic aide said.

Diaz-Balart said that the group hoped to unveil a bill soon but, as would be expected with any sensitive effort of this magnitude, lawmakers do not want to go public prematurely. Members are also wary of setting target dates out of the fear that if they are missed, it will send a signal that talks have stalled.

Read more at The Hill.