Immigration Reform: The Need for Cooperation
Published: Friday, February 8, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 10, 2013 17:02
This past Wednesday, President Obama expressed his hopes to pass a immigration reform bill before the end of the summer. This year he is hoping to find cooperation with a Republican-controlled House in order to make sweeping changes in immigration reform, an issue that still doesn’t have a clear policy in a nation with over 11 million undocumented immigrants.
Many Republicans are laying out and supporting immigration reform in order to gain a higher Hispanic vote because the past two presidential elections have seen strong turnouts from Hispanic voters. They are trying to shift their position on “amnesty” to help undocumented immigrants earn a pathway to citizenship. This past Wednesday, a group of eight bi-partisan senators outlined a five-page framework for an immigration reform policy. Republicans are focusing on including the “Amnesty Clause” and a strictly-enhanced border security, whereas Obama has plans for a smoother path to citizenship that doesn’t include stringent border control. In the Republican-controlled House, a bi-partisan group of House negotiators are planning on presenting a draft bill around the time of President Obama’s State of the Union Address on February 12. Speaker of the House, John Boehner, has expressed uncertainty over the reform even after promising to address it in 2013. Although the reform sounds promising for the House, the Judiciary Committee, which includes many conservatives who have staunchly resisted any efforts toward immigration reform, has not responded to the reform.
The immigration reform should be altered only to help make improvements in the economy, workforce, border security, agricultural industry, and scientific and technological innovation. I agree with the ideology of the Republicans who strive to create a fair but tough process towards citizenship as opposed to Obama’s smoother transition to citizenship. Despite Obama’s repeated call for bi-partisan efforts towards reform, he has yet to confront anyone on Capitol Hill about the potential plans.
These early-stage attempts toward immigration reform from Obama and Capitol Hill hold promise for 2013, yet the future of these 11 million illegal immigrants and the nation is unclear. The reform policies among Obama, the Senate group, and the House group may contain stark differences in policy, which can lead to contention down the road in the legislature. Democrats and Republicans, both of whom have similar goals in mind, need to maintain frequent communication in order to address a policy that has been unclear for around 25 years in a melting pot nation.