Immigration reform seems to be both alive and dead, to be closer than ever, and further away. Depending on who you listen to, you would swear that it’s a done deal, yet somehow simultaneously dead. One guy says it’ll never get the votes it needs to get out of the Senate, much less have any legs to carry reform through the House. Someone else comments, we’ve been here before, it’s 2007 all over again, but somehow it hurts even more.
We do know for sure from the CBO report that immigration reform will improve wages, slash the federal deficit and have an overwhelmingly positive economic impact. So that makes it the biggest no-brainer in the history of man.
Except, Speaker Boehner says he won’t break the “Hastert” rule for consideration of immigration legislation, which makes passage of a comprehensive bipartisan bill out of the House pretty much impossible.
And then House Judiciary Committee marks up two of the ugliest, most partisan immigration bills I’ve ever seen. It’s deja vu all over again.
On Monday, the Senate came to a deal on the border security and voted 67 to 27 to go forward on commonsense reform, passing a key test with strong bipartisan support. So now, we could see a Senate bill pass within a week.
It seems like every day we hear about new developments in the immigration reform debate and sometimes I feel like I’m in a live pinball game, shooting out of the gates, full of hope, bouncing off an unforeseen obstacle, then plummeting down after another barrier is thrown up, only to miraculously rocket back to the top again after narrowly escaping defeat.
Some may relish the politics of reform, but don’t forget for a minute that this “game” is being played with real people. The ones who are being knocked around aren’t the politicians or even the experts or advocates. They are the immigrants and their families, their employers and the communities that depend on them. They are the undocumented and the entrepreneurs, grad students and DREAMers, investors and inventors, universities and research labs, sisters and brothers, mothers, fathers, and grandparents. They are the ones whose very lives and futures are being debated on the floor of the Senate and in House Committee chambers.
We owe it to them—we owe it to our own communities and our future to fight for the best immigration reform legislation possible, one that meets our nation’s needs and the needs of immigrants because they are one and the same. America is a nation of immigrants. Maybe those who are afraid of immigrants are really just fearful about who we are and America’s future. The answer, however is clear: we are strongest when we embrace immigration reform and the full promise of the American dream.
Want to do more? Get on InfoNet learn about what’s really going on in Congress and what you can help achieve real reform. Call your Senators, call your Representative, talk to them about what immigration law really means. We’re the experts. Let’s show them how a balanced, rational immigration system can help our country.