Comprehensive Immigration Reform Stuck After Midterm Elections

Comprehensive immigration reform is still going to be the football that was. Based on mid-term election results, it may never get any further either.

Mid-term results from the election sent a clear message to the administration that mending fences is in order and shoring up support for various programs even more critical. Can this happen? It is too early to tell, but based on the rather confusing mix of other issues involved for those voting, plans for the economy, health care reform, guest worker programs and border security may be back in limbo once again. It reminds you of the saying that “The more things change, the more they remain the same.”

The interesting thing about the divisive voting in the election was that people came out not to show support for the other side, but to vote for anyone but the ones in power. The numbers at the polls were down dramatically and many kept their vote at home, as well, as a form of protest.

Across the board, many Democrats were feeling the pinch and were telling voters if the immigration problem was not resolved, things were going to be touch and go for them as a credible party. That is perhaps a bit of understatement. The issue is that no one really knows what to do about immigration reform, because it’s been flogged around the block so many times that no one has a clear view of what needs to be done or if it can still be done. Perhaps, in hindsight, they never did have a truly clear view of the magnitude of what needed to be done in the first place. Food for thought.

Now that the numbers in the House are shaky and the president will need to devote more time to garnering support for his plans for the future for CIR and health reform, to name just two, one might well ask how he can move these two things forward when he’s trying to get more support to do that. The likely answer, from the point of view of an outsider, is that things will be on stall yet again and may be on stall for the foreseeable future. Or in other words, here we go again.

Once again, the political landscape is all over the place and accomplishing anything major, such as CIR or health care reform, is going to be a major uphill battle. Be prepared for fiery rhetoric, waffling, changes of mind, cross platforms and cross purposes. It was ever thus that when politics became the main underpinning to the success or failure of major bills that could do the country a lot of good, that the final opinion would be they would agree to disagree and not move forward for the good of the country; a country who evidently doesn’t really know what it wants when it comes to CIR and health care.

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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