Immigration Reform Prospects Look BleakJanuary 29, 2010 - by Eric Naing
The Scott Brown-pocalypse continues. The future of comprehensive immigration reform, one-time a hot issue, is in doubt now that Senate Democrats have lost their supermajority.
In his state of the Union speech, President Obama told Congress:
And we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system – to secure our borders, enforce our laws, and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation.
An immigration reform bill (H.R.4321) was introduced in the House last December. Donny explains the ins and outs of it here. At one point, it was suspected that Congress might take up immigration reform after health care was dealt with but Scott Brown torpedoed those plans.
Though President Obama and other high-level administration officials including Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano have promised to push an immigration bill, even the staunchest supporters of immigration are feeling despondent.
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, a group supporting an overhaul of our immigration system, called Obama SOTU mention “a crumb that was placed on the domestic-policy-agenda table to really satisfy the hunger of the immigrant and Latino communities." He considers Obama’s short statement “the death knell of immigration reform in 2010.”
Though he clearly supports the notion that our laws must reflect the contributions immigrants have made to literally build this country, it is clear to me that Congress cannot wait for the President to lay out our timeline for comprehensive reform.
“The president said jobs is the No. 1 issue before us in 2010,” said Schumer at a press conference on Thursday. “In fact, the three top issues on our agenda this year are jobs, jobs and jobs.”