For political officials as well as observers, immigration reform is likely to become a defining issue for the Republican Party in the near and distant future. This is particularly true in states like Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas as well as in non-border states like Colorado, all of which have a significant Hispanic population. But while that is certainly the conventional expectation, it has not proven to be the case during the current midterm cycle. Many state representatives claim that their constituents are far more likely to be concerned about other issues like the nation’s economic woes or gun control than they are about immigration policy. According to those representatives this is even the case for constituents in largely Hispanic areas.
Politicians Getting Comfortable on the Fence
That’s not to say that immigration reform is not still a key political issue because it obviously is. But it has become such that over the last several months it has generated such vehement debate that no one seems to want to address it in too much depth for fear of alienation or political fallout. Many politicians try to appease both sides and in so doing end up expressing little more than obscurity regarding their position and intent about immigration. In that regard, neither Republicans nor Democrats really have much of an edge on their opponents.
It has reached the point to where many political officials won’t even broach the subject in a public forum unless they are specifically asked to by media reps or citizens. Democratic House Speaker Andrew Romanoff of Colorado has stated that he doesn’t hear about policy reform unless voters express their displeasure about Congress’s lack of progress on it. To him, he says that it is as though Congress has all but withdrawn itself entirely from the issue of immigration reform and doesn’t seem to want anything to do with it. And even with the November elections just around the corner, many political officials are steering clear of expressing any kind of firm stance on immigration in their campaigns for election or re-election.
Even Hispanics Have Other Priorities
Nevertheless, there is still a degree of mudslinging going on as Republicans accuse Democrats of being lax on immigration-related issues like border security. Conversely, Democrats are quick to point out the lack of reform progress on the part of Republicans. From the standpoint of the public, polls indicate that more Americans now feel that immigration is “the most important problem” in the United States than felt that way just a few months ago. Barely 3 percent of American polled in May felt that immigration reform should be the Obama administration’s top priority but in August that number had jumped to more than 15 percent.
Surprisingly, even Hispanics in the United States tend to feel that there are more pressing issues facing the nation than immigration reform. Polls show that issues like jobs and the economic condition of the country are more important than immigration. Nevertheless, it is enough of a hot-button topic that it has caused unprecedented division in both political and social circles across the country.
If you or someone you know is in need of legal counsel regarding an immigration issue, please contact the immigration attorney at the Lyttle Law Firm in Austin, Texas or call their offices at 512-215-5225.