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Immigration Reform Prospects Look Bleak

January 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.”

Rep. Luis Gutierrez [D, IL-4], an architect of the House bill, is still hopeful but makes it clear that he is not looking for leadership from the White House. In the Huffington Post, he writes:

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.

Sen. Chuck Schumer [D, NY] is spearheading the Senate effort to create an immigration bill and is going to some very extreme lengths to do it. However, it’s clear what Schumer’s priorities are.

“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.”

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  • dartcanyon 01/30/2010 2:38pm

    The key word associated with immigration is “illegal”. That word speaks for itself and is defined in the dictionary so why do we allow illegals to remain in the country? Too much emphasis on penny ante stuff and not enough on this major issue that costs Americans billions each and every year to care for them medically, etc. They deserve nothing in this country, they are ILLEGAL. How much plainer can it get.

  • artledoux 07/27/2010 3:23am

    The problem lies within the current laws. The laws they are breaking are civil
    laws, they are not the same as a criminal offense and as such will not be
    pursued with great effort.
    Our border issues have gone on far too long and currently they are at their
    peak of what we as a nation should bare. Something needs to happen now!
    Put our National Guard down there and put Americans to work building a secure
    As for those who have been in our country, you have to realize that they have
    been allowed here for many years. While I agree that they should not have come
    in the first place, you can not blame them for wanting something better for
    their families. You also have to look at why they came. Many were lured here
    by greedy corporations with a promise of a job. Those companies paid them
    substandard wages with no benefits. These were jobs Americans would do if the
    Corporations paid a fair wage, but they were greedy! So you can put the blame
    on them!
    Art LeDoux

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