Immigration Reform on the Table – What Will Congress Decide?

The full Senate will soon hold its first immigration vote this week. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) has noted that he sees Congress completing an immigration overhaul by the end of this year, and organised labour has been showing its support for an immigration plan with a multimillion dollar advertising campaign.

Sounds promising.

We can hope.

DREAMers - Immigration ReformBut given that the House of Representatives recently voted to defund an immigrant program, how likely is real reform? When the House voted on the Homeland Security bill spending bill, nearly all House Republicans “voted to add an amendment to the bill that would cut funding for an Obama administration program that allows young undocumented immigrants to live and work in the U.S.,” according to ABC News.

At a White House conference today surrounded by ‘DREAMers‘, those fully invested in seeing an immigration system overhaul, President Obama spoke about how a bipartisan bill will help to fix the nation’s broken immigration system.

The president said that “We are a nation of immigrants.” Our system currently keeps families apart for years at a time. “We’ve tried to patch the worst cracks in the system.”

Right now, one in four small business owners is an immigrant; immigration is a “driving force in our economy that creates jobs.” As things currently stand, employers who are doing the right thing are at a competitive disadvantage to those that use illegal immigrants, thereby driving down wages and benefits for all workers.

He noted that the ‘bill isn’t perfect, it’s a compromise.’ It would represent the biggest commitment to border security, and it holds employers more accountable if they knowingly hire undocumented immigrants.

At this point, those of us watching are awaiting legislative action to see if politics, policy and political ambitions match — and if the DREAMers will, at the end of the process, continue to languish as our Representatives let an opportunity for real reform and real progress pass them by once again.

 

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