The election is over. Good thing immigration reform is still on the table – maybe.
Even though the election is over, it is good to refresh your memory when it comes to what the two presidential candidates were offering as an enticement to vote. In particular, go back over the campaign platform for Mitt Romney and pay attention to his handling of the immigration reform issue. He kind of, sort of, maybe aimed at, sounding like he was in favor of doing things for immigrants. The reality is he was not in the past, and would not be in the future.
Take a quick look at his Spanish-language ad campaign in which he hinted he would do something in favor of immigrants by working with the Democrats to achieve solutions. Vague at best. Misleading at the worst. This man was never about finding immigrant friendly solutions. He quashed the Massachusetts DREAM Act, was adamant about not giving illegal immigrants driver’s licenses, and during his presidential campaign, came right out and said he promised to veto the federal DREAM Act. Mind you, he said a lot of things, and one wonders if he even remembers most of what he said, since it seemed to change on a daily basis.
The same Spanish ad campaign said the Republicans would fight to bring families together, for bipartisan reform, to set up a program for work visas and find permanent solutions for illegal alien youth. That is mighty tough to do when you actively oppose everything that would achieve that in the first place. Romney is on record that he would seek to end the temporary deportation reprieves for undocumented students. And yet, he still wanted these voters to put him into the highest office in the land. It didn’t work.
We need to be thankful for small mercies and for a second run at immigration reform under an individual that at least attempted to make a difference in the lives of illegal immigrant students. While the reprieve is far from permanent, it may be what is needed to open the debate on reform once more. That can only be a good thing. However, keep in mind that with as contentious as immigration reform is, slogging it through to any kind of a legislative conclusion will be a monumentally tough job.
In the final analysis, it is clear that the Republican party has consistently resisted efforts to do something with the immigration system and those caught up in it. Their best solution to the issue to date has been to suggest self-deportation – a clear signal that immigrants are welcome to take themselves back home anytime they wish. So much for human rights, the American Constitution and facing the reality that America is a sea of many different faces, and they are here to stay.