Given the sharp differences between a Democratic-majority Senate and a Republican-controlled House of Representatives, the much awaited immigration reform is unlikely to happen this year, a top Republican Senator has said.

“I think we have sort of an irresolvable conflict here.

“The Senate insists on comprehensive (legislation). The House says it won’t go to conference with the Senate on comprehensive and wants to look at (it) step by step,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters yesterday.

“I don’t see how you get to an outcome this year with the two bodies in such a different place,” McConnell said when asked about the comprehensive immigration reform, which President Barack Obama has made a top priority.

If passed, the immigration reform would pave the way for citizenship to 11 million undocumented workers and accelerate the legal immigration of high-tech professionals from countries like India and China.

Last week, the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives outlined its vision of immigration reform.

“Well, the draft principles we outlined, members seemed to be rather supportive of them. There was a lot of discussion about whether we should proceed, and if we proceeded, how we’d proceed,” House of Representative Speaker John Boehner, told reporters.

“It’s also clear from our members that we believe that securing our borders have to be the first step in this process. But we’re continuing to take comments from members about the draft principles, continuing the conversation. No decision has been made,” he said.

The Democrats in House have welcomed the Republican draft principles on immigration reform.

“We welcome the initiatives that the Republicans have undertaken in articulating certain principles. We do not believe they’re detailed enough for us to know exactly what is being proposed, but we think it’s a positive step that – at least the leadership – we don’t know how deep the support for saying that we ought to move forward is in the Republican party,” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said.

“We hope it’s deep and we hope we have support there. The President has indicated willingness to work together. And we express the same intent. Turning the principals into legislation is the trick and we look forward to discussing that with him,” he said.

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