What Routes Were Open for Executive Action on Immigration Reform?

Law Firm Newswire



Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) October 27, 2014 – President Obama intended to take executive action on immigration reform, but he ultimately decided not to move forward. Was that a good move?

“This was one of the biggest open-ended questions of the legislative year. Wasting time speculating on whether or not he intended to tackle immigration reform on his own is just that: a waste of time. Unfortunately, either way, the immigration system is unlikely to improve immediately,” commented Miami immigration attorney Larry Rifkin.

Politicians and advocacy groups speculated that any last-minute moves may have backfired with the Congressional majorities at stake in the upcoming election. 

And yet, would piecemeal immigration reform through executive action be such a bad thing? Congress has repeatedly chosen not to deal with the issue. Would attempting to expand the Dreamers program in an effort to keep families together been detrimental? Politically, movement on immigration reform is usually celebrated. In the aftermath, the cleanup (and real work) begins to accurately define what the latest reprieve truly means.

What could happen with immigration reform after the Congressional election? What may change? “There are several possible scenarios, with the major one riding on a shift in the balance of political power. If one party had more representatives than the other, it could radically change the composition of Congress and thus its goals for immigration reform,” Rifkin speculated.

Political pundits speculate that the Republicans may win back the majority they lost eight years ago, but that they are still not likely to control the chamber. This Congressional election is likely to be highly fluid, volatile and fraught with surprises and upsets.

“What is the best route to get something done?” mused Rifkin. “In order to determine what could be done, one must first understand the impact of doing that particular “something.” At this point, any changes to the system disrupt the rest of the house of cards and then what? That is the largest stumbling block for immigration reform – the “what ifs.” And the outcome? We have to wait and find out.”