David Jackson 9:17 a.m. December 14, 2012
Once the White House gets past the fiscal cliff -- if it gets past the fiscal cliff -- aides will focus on their next big political project: Immigration.
President Obama and aides believe 2013 is the year for what they call "comprehensive immigration reform," a bill that combines tighter border security with a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are already in the United States.
The White House confidence stems from the election of 2012, when Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney received a little less than 30% of the Hispanic vote.
First things first, however: The White House and Congressional Republicans are still trying to develop a debt reduction deal to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff," a series of automatic tax hikes and budget cuts set to kick in next year.
Some members of Congress, including Republicans looking to improve the party's standing with Hispanic voters, are also talking about putting together immigration legislation for 2013.
"As the White House prepares to dial in on the issue, congressional lawmakers of the so-called Gang of Eight on immigration have also begun meeting.
"The group, which includes key players on immigration reform -- Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) -- is hoping to put forward principles on immigration early next year and put out legislation by March with the hope of final passage by June, according to several sources."
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