It came as no surprise that the President delayed comprehensive immigration reform. The questions that plagued the administration during the election are the same ones dogging their attempt at reform now.
It honestly wasn’t too much of a surprise when the President said he was putting off comprehensive immigration reform until 2010 – and perhaps much later depending on other issues needing to be dealt with, such as health reform and the lousy economy. A delay may not be crucial, it may not even make much difference to implement it next year versus this year, but it definitely makes people wonder if the nation will only get “immigration” reform in 2010 and not comprehensive immigration reform.
The nation is faced with a great number of pressing issues that need to be dealt with sooner rather than later, and two of those problems are the economy, which is in terrible shape, and energy bills. It’s no small wonder that immigration was put on the back burner, again. And that is the watch word for comprehensive immigration reform, as in here we go with delays “again,” with promises “again,” and with questions about just how widespread change will really be “again.”
With the economy taking up an unprecedented amount of time it’s clear that immigration will only get smaller changes here and there rather than a total overhaul. Many pundits even wonder how a total revamp is possible given the mess that now exists. It’s still a priority, but a lesser one than the economy. While this may make complete sense – after all how can one have immigration reform without the money to accomplish it – it does raise many fears that what is currently operating badly will remain in place and be even worse for wear with piecemeal changes.
Understandably comprehensive immigration reform is something that is crucial for the Latino community, who would rather have it now. Instead, they are now being handed more promises of things to come with the understanding that it (immigration reform) will indeed still be coming. There are echoes of fear from those on the front lines dealing with the fallout of deportation and other questionable practices, that this delay means an even stricter approach will be implemented for immigration enforcement.
Currently there appears to be no softening of ideology from the Department of Homeland Security, and the border security initiative is still plunging ahead at full speed. Indeed the government’s actions may be speaking louder than their words, as out of one side of their mouths they promote comprehensive immigration reform and on the other side allocate even more money to border enforcement. Seemingly, those two issues taken by them are at odds with the stated intentions of comprehensive reform.
How does a country insist they intend to have comprehensive, fair and equitable reform and then spend millions to step up enforcement to keep out the very people they say they wish to welcome to the United States? This is the same country that is currently still holding immigration raids and deporting hundreds of immigrants, leaving single parent households and children without two parents.
The frightening statistics show that there are at least 11 to 12 million undocumented workers in the U.S. and a solution to this conundrum is nowhere in sight. The legal ramifications of this hornet’s nest are yet another problem that immigration attorneys will have to find an equitable way to deal with in the meantime.