The Morals of CIR Versus Energy Reform

There is still the question of whether or not the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill will see the light of day this year. It’s quite possible energy reform will eclipse that.

While there are still noises coming from the direction of the Hill that the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill is “going” to be pushed through this year, the actions (delays) are speaking louder than the words. It seems energy reform is a major hurdle to overcome as well and many politicians, and those who watch them for a living, are wondering if both those bills will make it into law.

Energy reform is massive, almost as massive as the Comprehensive Immigration Bill and desperately needs something done with it. However, following that line of thinking, it is likely even more critical for the Immigration Reform Bill to come into being – after all this is an election year and some votes will hinge on whether immigration reform is indeed put into action. If that means leaving the Energy Reform Bill until the next session of Congress, well, that might be what it takes to get the work done.

Right now, if you spend any time reading about the impending Comprehensive Reform Bill, you’ll likely notice that the $25 words of “moral imperative” are being tossed around when the bill is discussed. Meaning, the politicians are muttering that there is a moral imperative to get the bill moved into law. This should actually be obvious to a lot of people, but for whatever reasons – largely political in nature – the bill is “not” law despite the intentions that it would be.

Now that election year is upon us, making this kind of a decision, to go forward, will likely carry a great deal of flack with it. The potential fallout could be fatal, particularly when you consider that the Democrats didn’t have much success getting GOP support for initiatives during the recent Congressional session. And voting during an election, well, that’s another issue altogether and one that is largely out of the control of the politicians.

So, what is shaping up right now is the thunder that immigration reform will take priority over energy legislation. This may shape up to give a very odd outcome considering that the House hasn’t passed “their” immigration bill. While that might seem unusual, it isn’t given the makeup of the Democratic caucus. If you add in the fact that some leading Republicans (that liked CIR the last time it surfaced) are now pushing for beefed up border security or digging in their heels against reform, things are looking a tad dismal.

What will it be? Climate reform or comprehensive immigration reform? Anyone willing to make any bets on this?

Sally Odell – Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, PA is an immigration lawyer in Miami with immigration law offices in Orlando and Miami Florida. To learn more, visit

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