Now that the Immigration Bill is dead, what's next??

by Jinah Kim
NBC News

There is emotion and frustration across the country in reaction to this week's failure by the Senate to pass an immigration reform bill.

Immigrants' rights advocates say their hopes have been dashed, while state and city leaders who had hoped for national action on illegal immigration say now they'll have to do it on a local level.

At a popular Spanish-language radio station in Los Angeles tears flowed openly from the host and staff as news broke that the immigration reform bill was dead.

"Supposedly there are 12 million people, what's going to happen?," asked host Eddie "El Piolin" Sotelo.

The answer according to the nation's top immigration official: Heartache.

"I have to say, we'll continue to see heart wrenching examples, gonna' have to be tough," said U-S Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff.

While families of illegal immigrants face dashed hopes, state and city leaders face having to come up with solutions on a local level to a national crisis.

"I think we're gonna see a hodgepodge of local laws, crossways with each other," said South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.

It could mean one set of laws for illegal immigrants in California and a whole different set of laws in Texas.

Latino leaders gathered in Florida this week say the result will be confusion from one state to another, and more of the status quo.

Meanwhile, border patrol officers Friday announced the discovery of a major human smuggling tunnel in Nogales, Arizona, an example, they say, that they're staying vigilant in the fight against illegal immigration.

The consensus is that immigration reform will likely not be taken up as a national issue again until the next President comes into office.