The U.S. Senate passed an aggressive immigration bill a year ago, but the hopes for any actual reform have faded. Democratic Representative Luis Gutierrez from Illinois, who was the leading person backing the bill, has said that in his opinion there is no hope that any reform will happen this year, and that he is throwing in the towel.
Speaking to the Republicans in the House, he said that they had lost their chance to decide how immigration and deportation policies should be carried out, and that the only option left was for President Barack Obama to take action himself to stop the current level of deportations- which are higher than ever. The immigration bill offered the possibility of becoming an American citizen to a staggering 11.5 million people currently residing illegally in the United States. It also well as would have improved security along the border and amended the rules to allow more people to come to the United States on a legal basis. Those against the legislation argue that these 11.5 million should not be given any preferential treatment.
Guttierrez, a major campaigner for the legislation, spent months working with Republican legislators to ensure the work was carried out, but a small and vocal group stymied every move forward. The reasons for the blockage appear to be partly due to the fact that 52,000 children travelling alone have been stopped near the border since October last year as they attempted to enter the country from Mexico. Many have blamed Obama for this, saying that his policies such as DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, have encouraged such immigration. Now it is thought that Obama will be lobbied to try and limit the number of deportations and to expand DACA, although the current situation on the border may put an end to that idea.
Some still think that there is hope, including Senator John McCain, who suggested that the increased numbers of children trying to cross the border is not an excuse to stop immigration reform. He went on to say that if the Republicans want to regain support from Hispanic and Asian voters in order to win presidential elections, they have no option but to back immigration reform. He then stated clearly, that without the necessary reform, the Republicans would quite simply not win another election.
President Obama remains confident and has predicted that Congress will pass an immigration reform bill before the end of his presidential term and he would like to see it done this year.
The immigration situation in the country took a sharp turn towards becoming more difficult recently, as rhetoric increased following the defeat of former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Now, more than ever, immigrants to the U.S. must ensure that they give themselves the best chance to navigate the country’s difficult immigration system. If you have an immigration situation and need assistance, contact the Austin immigration attorney today at the Lyttle Law Firm by calling 512-215-5225.