And the Republicans Did What about Immigration Reform?

If the history of immigration reform captures your attention, you might want to check out Obama’s record since he was first elected. It’s an eye-opener.

The latest slightly bent fact on the campaign trail is that Obama hasn’t lived up to his promises of immigration reform since he was first elected. However, he did ‘push’ for reform. Nice, but that doesn’t quite cut it, not when his Administration has deported more illegal aliens every year than G.W. Bush. It is interesting how we got from a definite promise to implement immigration reform to ‘pushing for reform.’ While to some, that may seem like a small stretch, in reality, it is almost too big an about face to even consider respecting the person trying to peddle it.

The hard, cold fact is that nothing was actually done about immigration reform, other than talk about it, for the first two years of Obama’s presidency. He did accomplish health care reform, but in doing so, blew his time and funding on one effort. Some offer praise for that. Others offer brick-bats of criticism, pointing out that immigration reform is equally as important, if not more so, than reforming the health care system, which is still a mess to contend with, much like the immigration system. What has changed? Evidently, not too much, but the talking about it has veered from going to do it to going to push for it.

And now, campaign rhetoric in hand, the politicians are once again thumping about immigration reform, almost like they were going to do something about it. That is the impression they are attempting to create. In reality, once the government has spent all this time doing nothing, it is difficult to believe they suddenly have the urge to really do something. Perturbed voters, particularly Latinos, are none too impressed, as they see smoke and mirrors, while politicians try and curry their favor to get their vote.

There is a frightening juxtaposition between what is being said out of one side of the president’s mouth and what is actually being done. The federal programs in place today, and being expanded upon, are laser focused on deporting as many people as they can, in record numbers. The line is they are criminals. The reality is they are not criminals, but ordinary people in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and as for the DREAM Act, talk to any young Latino trying to stay in the country, and find out what the real truth is about their immigration status and chances of being deported.

In a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black, Republicans are finger pointing at Obama, and loudly pointing out he has not kept his reform promises. That is downright cynical in the extreme, and not even a particularly smooth move to cover their real intentions, which involve trying to sway Latin voters. They keep saying his broken promise means he cannot be trusted. Ironic isn’t it, when you consider they were the ones that kept that promise from becoming a reality. It’s enough to point out that the Republicans blocked the DREAM Act, and then kept on putting up roadblock after roadblock in the way of immigration reform, and now they want the Latin vote.

Here is the real question that is begging for an answer: do the Republicans back immigration reform? Based on their track record to date, the answer just may be “No.” So, how will you be voting in the election?

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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