Lost credibility or popularity over delayed CIR?

Another debate is heating up on the horizon over the delayed comprehensive immigration reform bill, with many debating how the delay has affected the Obama administration.

Usually, when someone promises you they are going to do something and then makes a big fuss about getting it done, people expect results. Much like a bride at the altar waiting for her groom, she expects him to show up after the promise of a wedding.

The promise of comprehensive immigration reform is slowly turning into a love affair gone sour between the administration and the Spanish-language community. That community turned out in droves (67 percent of the Hispanic vote) to elect Obama and now, the shine is off the brass ring. One only has to read the latest news to know the full extent of the disharmony brewing in the Hispanic community.

Certainly disharmony isn’t anything new when it comes to the subject of comprehensive immigration reform, but there was a lull for a period of time when the community got behind Obama and approved of his goals and choice of direction for the future of CIR. Now is a different story. There are a series of critical articles criticizing Obama for lack of action in fulfilling his promises.

The thing to remember is that the Hispanic community voted for Obama because the goal was CIR within one year. That went down the tubes when the debate got out of hand, and remains that way. In fact, the latest is even more aggressive enforcement, with nary a word said about the reformation of the system to allow illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.

Unfortunately, stepped up enforcement is sending the wrong message to a community waiting for integration, not deportation and enforcement. But, that’s politics – do what works to get the votes, despite the fact that millions of people are waiting on a reform package they were promised over two years ago. It’s no wonder that today’s great debate is whether the administration has lost credibility and popularity. Most pundits would say it has lost both, which is hardly a good thing for its future. The biggest loss in popularity and credibility came when Arizona passed its infamous anti-illegal immigration law.

Here is something to ponder on for the future of the current administration: what would happen if that 67 percent of the Hispanic vote that helped elect the president takes a walk in the other direction? Consider this: the Hispanic vote could be the swing vote and is highly critical in 40 electoral contests in at least 12 states for the midterms in November. With the betrayed ruminations the Hispanic community, the midterms may be quite interesting, to say the least.

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 http://www.rifkinandfoxisicoff.com.

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