It’s hard to tell who really gives a darn about immigration reform enough to take concrete action.
It’s quite the bizarre twist when you get right down to it – an immigration system that welcomes immigrants, but yet deports them in record numbers every year. Something is wrong with that picture. Perhaps the irony is not lost on the politicians, largely because they sway to voters’ whims and wishes. Perhaps they don’t really care one way or another, because they doubt they will do anything to fix it now, or in the future.
It was pretty clear during the presidential debate that there was an enormous gap in philosophy between Obama and Romney. Despite the very real fact that America is a nation of immigrants, the two top contenders couldn’t have been further apart in their approach to handling the situation. The reality is that comprehensive immigration reform has been kicked about the football field for so long, no one really thinks than anything will happen. The only notable departure from the raucous disagreements in the House and Senate over immigration reform was the unilateral decision Obama made in implementing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
This notable departure from the “usual” government obfuscation appealed to a whole new class of illegal immigrants and oddly coincidentally a new class of voters; illegal immigrants 30 years of age or younger. Whatever the reasons Obama made the executive decision, his move gave millions of illegal immigrants deportation relief. It’s a place to start from for the next term.
What to expect in the next term? Expect more of the same, piled higher and deeper, with the more of the same being that the Democrats had the compassion to offer a temporary solution to the immigration reform question, while the Republicans wanted the immigrants to self-deport. The Republicans will likely be suggesting Obama was only trolling for votes when he introduced the deferred action program, because he did nothing until it was election time.
Who really cares about immigrant communities? Let’s see what happens over the next four years. Many think the status quo will be the usual waffling from one side of the fence to the other, depending on which way the wind blows. One thing is for sure, whether we like it or not, Obama and his party did have four years to do something, and nothing happened until the election. Will this same gridlock continue? Will the two parties ever get on the same page and actually achieve immigration reform? Anyone taking bets?