WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. economy and now gun control appear to be elbowing immigration reform further down the congressional priority list, advocates said.
The renewed interest in gun control following the deadly school shooting in Connecticut earlier this month has been taken up by key congressional committees, which means any discussions in Congress on immigration probably won't even begin until the spring, the Los Angeles Times said Sunday.
Immigration reform was seen as a major issue in the November presidential election because of the lopsided support President Obama enjoyed in the Latino community.
But while the White House has insisted immigration remained a high priority of the Obama administration, reform advocates see Congress as more willing to kick the can down the road.
"I am concerned that an issue such as immigration where we can find strong bipartisan consensus will be demagogued and politicized, because that is the environment," said Alfonso Aguilar, a Republican strategist at the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.
Other activists told the Times immigration deserved Washington's continued attention despite the tragedy in Connecticut and the high stakes over the fiscal cliff.
"Voters want to see action," said Clarissa Martinez de Castro of the National Council of La Raza. "If the American public every day has to grapple with multiple priorities, that is the least they expect from their members of Congress."