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Will Syria debate in Congress delay immigration reform?

Discussions about Syria will likely take center stage during the upcoming congressional session, leaving little time for debate over immigration reform.

Lawmakers and immigration reform activists across the country are beginning to worry, and are making a last-minute push before the end of the Congressional recess.

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) said he doesn’t see Congress having a discussion over immigration until November, or even 2015.

“If we don’t do it now, in 2013, it’s not going to be — it’s not going to happen in 2014,” Rep. Labrador said in Univision’s Al Punto. “And that means that we’re going to have to wait until 2015. So now, that time is — it’s becoming a lot shorter. We don’t know exactly when we’re going to be able to have this debate.”

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) offered a similar take during an exclusive interview with Telemundo’s Enfoque anchor, José Diaz-Balart.

“I’m very concerned about that – because this issue must be addressed,” Sen. McCain said, referring to the possibility of other issues overshadowing the movement towards immigration reform.

RELATED: Senator McCain: “very concerned” immigration reform could be affected by other issues

Congress has just nine working days in September, 14 days in October, eight days in November, and another eight in December, leaving little time for a prolonged debate on immigration reform.

The situation in Syria is at the top of the agenda, and in mid-October, the US is set to hit the debt ceiling, which will also require Congressional action.

But immigration reform advocates say they refuse to accept even more delays in coming up with immigration legislation.

RELATED: Groups announce major national mobilization for immigration reform in October

To pressure Congress to discuss immigration they have organized The National Day for Dignity and Respect, where marches and rallies in favor of immigration reform will take place in over 60 cities.

“As members of our communities across every region in this country, we have to be diligent about passing immigration reform and raising public awareness about its importance,” said LULAC National President Margaret Moran, whose organization plans to take part in the marches.

But Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), who is working on his own bipartisan immigration bill in the House told NBC Latino that time is his biggest concern.

RELATED: Rep. Diaz-Balart: Immigration legislation “more difficult” if not done this year

“Time is our enemy,” he said. “If we don’t get it done this year, it gets more difficult.”

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