White House Supports Immigration Reform but New House Majority May Not Agree
Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 1, 2011 – The twixt and tween of politics may make a hash out of comprehensive immigration reform legislation. Getting consensus will be a bitter battle.
“While the president has been heard to tell the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that he will be pushing for comprehensive immigration reform this year, one has to wonder how he honestly thinks he is going to be able to accomplish that. Since the elections, the whole face of the House has changed. It is almost back to the table to start from scratch,” said Larry S. Rifkin, Miami immigration lawyer and managing partner at Rikfin & Fox-Isicoff, an immigration law firm with law offices in Miami, Florida and Orlando, Florida.
Getting a consensus on something as highly controversial as the proposed changes to the Immigration Act that was discussed to death over the last few years is going to be a bitter, uphill battle. “Frankly, many Americans don’t think CIR will be going anywhere but in the toilet over the next while. With so many newly elected politicians who don’t support CIR, it would take a major miracle to ever get it the support it needs to a point where it would actually get passed,” Rifkin said.
With a Republican majority in the House and a heavier Republican presence in the Senate, it will be difficult to accomplish much without significant compromises or deals. “One has to ask where Obama will get his support from, given the makeup of the House and Senate these days. Additionally, most of the new kids on the block are gunning for enforcement and border control, not changes to make illegal aliens citizens,” Rifkin said.
The interesting conundrum is that on one hand, the president says he will continue to push for CIR, but on the other hand, his administration has the highest numbers of deportations on the books; all just within the last year. If this is a case of one side of the mouth saying one thing and the other side saying something different, it is doing a good job of sincerely confusing people. Perhaps they think no one is paying attention to what they say versus what they do. They may be surprised to know that people are far more aware of the truth and veracity gap than they may like to think.
Most of the uncertainty as to progress for the future for CIR came about as the result of the non-passage of the DREAM Act, which would have signaled to the Hispanic population that the government was indeed serious about making a difference to the way they have been treated over the years.
“As we all know, Obama could not get enough Senate votes to drown out a Republican filibuster. There the DREAM Act stands, dead on the order paper, and with it perhaps the once rosy future that might have been. Time will tell, but the early signals from the Hill are sounding very dismal, albeit cloaked in nice sentiment,” Rifkin said.
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