Remember when U.S. immigration reform seemed like it was finally in the cards?
That was so 2013.
The brief burst of fanfare following passage of the Senate's comprehensive bill last year faded quickly when the debate hit the bitterly divided House, where prospects for getting anything done have now been all but extinguished.
And that means starting over from square one. Again.
But now that the Republicans have won control of the Senate, the issue may soon resurface, with a stronger possibility of a bill making it through both chambers of Congress.
That comes on the heels of this summer's immigration crisis, when thousands of unaccompanied child migrants were detained at the U.S.-Mexico border. The events underscored the urgent need to address America's outdated immigration laws and figure out some updated plan of action for dealing with the more than 11 million undocumented people who already live here.
This interactive, produced for The Lowdown by Newsbound, explains what comprehensive reform actually means, why it hasn't happened yet and how we got here to begin with.
To learn more ...
- Associated Press: interactive breakdown of the issues
- Immigration Policy Center: fact sheet on how the U.S. immigration works (including visa distinctions)
- Washington Post: Multimedia history of U.S. immigration and demographic changes
A video history of modern immigration policy and the millions of people it's impacted
- Vox: Explanatory, multimedia overview of the child migrant crisis