Immigration Reform Might Be Possible in Bits and Pieces

Maybe chunking the immigration reform behemoth into smaller hunks is the answer. A new point of view is making itself known inside the Republican camp.

What if the Administration took a run at immigration reform and broke it down into manageable chunks? Would it eventually make the necessary changes? Those are valid questions, and they are also tough to answer. With an election looming, most of the campaign rhetoric is about electric fences, mobilization of the military and moats to keep the borders safe. Lost in the shuffle is what, if anything, the government is doing about immigration reform.

Most people assume immigration reform is actually dead, and if you spend any time reading the reports and watching TV, you would also reach that decision. The point – nothing has been done since Obama was elected that has made any difference to the immigration system, other than that border security was stepped up and deportations increased, which kind of defeats the purpose of reform.

Obama says he wants to make it easier for illegal immigrants to become American citizens, but that may well be hard to do when his enforcement team is hard at work deporting those same people so fast their heads spin. Talk about a disconnect between what Obama says and does. It makes for good media coverage, but it certainly does not get much done other than alienate the very people he swears he wants to help.

Down on the floor of the House, the new representatives are making small changes to help bring order to an immigration system that is out of control, thus helping to slowly change their anti-immigration image. The kicker though is that even though they want to introduce reform in small increments, they still want to also push hard for better border control. If this split personality scenario continues, nothing will be done which may be the whole point in the first place.

If they hope to repair the damage that has been done to the Hispanic voting population, they hardly have a chance. The damage has already been done, and the block of votes that got behind Obama the first time will not be there again. Frankly, it is not just political damage that is part of the fallout over the failure to do something about immigration reform; there is also the economic impact and upheaval to an economy that hardly needs to be bludgeoned any further.

The bottom line is what? The bottom line is that the system is not working, which should not come as a surprise to anyone. But just who is going to do something about it?

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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