Even without a clear resolution in sight for immigration reform in policy, the structure and operation of the system itself is still in dire need of repair.
A lumbering, fractured system has been slow to keep up with the present realities of immigration. The need for immediate, practical change now far outweighs the political desire to actually implement reform.
It is often easier to work with the devil that is known (the existing immigration system) than one that is not (the proposed reformed system in its many parts and pieces). Even though that is a current reality, change of any import still remains in limbo. Piecemeal, jury-rigged, stopgap measures are common. There are no solid laws to redirect the system, only actions taken by the President to defer implementing the existing laws relating to deportation.
Many voters seem to feel that immigration reform primarily affects the Latino population, but in reality, it impacts people from a wide range of nations. Immigration reform, in all its non-existent glory, affects people from all countries when they want to come to the United States.
Every undocumented immigrants stands to benefit from changes or may continue to suffer if the current system is left in place. However, those of Central or Southern American nationality have a stronger force than most on their side. The Hispanic citizen population is one of the largest voting forces with the power to drive changes in the political makeup of the White House, and the group tends to vote in favor of protections and citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
But despite their large voting bloc and its ability to effect change, nothing much has happened at the political level to implement immigration reform – other than executive actions deferring deportation.
Illegal immigrants go to work every day. They save money to send back home to their families, set to join them when they can. They contribute to their communities. They live the same way their neighbors do. But without citizenship, visas or green cards, they do not receive the full benefits of being part of the community. This is one of the largest flaws in the current immigration system: millions of people are left in limbo, a part of the country’s population, yet not a true part of their communities in the same way as others.
Politicians are aware the immigration system needs repair, but many are reluctant to do anything for politically biased reasons. Reform is really not about fixing the existing system. It is not about helping people. It is about what is politically expedient. Until reform is no longer tied into the partisan power balance, the system is likely to remain as it is.