Immigration Reform Impeded Amidst Backdrop of Down Economy and Debating Politicians

Statistics can be confusing when they document the amount of people arrested for illegally crossing the border. There used to be at least 12 million illegals living in the U.S., and actually, that number is still debated by politicians and the media. However, the fact is that the number dropped to 11.2 million in 2010. Contrast this number against the number of U.S. border patrol agents protecting the border, and check the numbers of those arrested, which has dropped by 36 percent. Something is obviously going on. If it is not the mass deportations, raids and arrests at the border, then what is it?

Many pundits seem to think that the reason the numbers of illegals trying to come to the U.S. has dropped so precipitously is that the economy is lousy. Think about that for a minute. The economy is indeed in a royal mess and the country’s credit rating has been downgraded, which is not a good sign. Why then would people come to try and find work in this kind of atmosphere? There is hardly any demand for workers, other than the usual ones needed for seasonal work. Other areas that used to hire them have dried up, waiting for the almost dead economy to be revived, which might be a long wait.

Historically, when the economy does kick into high gear, the demand for workers increases and so does the number of undocumented aliens coming across the border to find work. Call it a symbiotic relationship or call it serendipity, but these two factors often go hand-in-hand.

Track back to 2008 when the election campaign was in full swing and immigration reform was a main part in Obama’s platform. He won by a resounding victory, thanks in part to the Latino vote, and yet, what has he done to really push immigration reform or at least the reforms he campaigned on?

So, what we have here is a strange picture – a President calling for a new movement to assist illegal aliens, and their families, and referring to that movement (whatever that might be) as a moral imperative. Supposedly, he is now aiming to administratively evade the Immigration Act to make his political dream come true, and is also trying to change the immigration laws. At this point, you are probably thinking, “Say what?”

This movement is also taking place against a backdrop of undocumented workers holding steady, a screaming debt crisis that no one seems to know how to handle, the existing government cutting benefits to its own citizens and rancorous opposition to any changes. And somewhere in all this mess are the remnants of comprehensive immigration reform. When do you think you will see that pass?

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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