Immigration Reform in 2014: To Be or Not to Be

Thứ Tư, 28 Tháng Năm 201400:00(Xem: 4638)
Immigration Reform in 2014: To Be or Not to Be

There are many conflicting predictions about the likelihood of new immigration laws in 2014. Some people feel that there are three reasons why Immigration Reform won’t pass this year:

First reason: This is an election year. Both Republicans and Democrats would prefer to avoid immigration reform because it is a very controversial and emotional matter. In some states, if candidates support reform, they will lose the support of anti-reform voters. In other states, especially the border states and Florida, if they don’t support reform, they will lose the votes of the pro-reform voters.

Second reason: Immigration reform is not a top priority for most native born American voters. According to a study in early May, 20% of the people said that unemployment and jobs were the most important issue. Nineteen percent of the people said they were dissatisfied with the government, meaning Congress, politicians, leadership, corruption and power abuse. Seventeen percent picked the economy as the most important problem. Only three percent of the people thought that immigration was a major concern.

With Americans showing the greatest concerns on economy, unemployment, and the leadership itself, most election candidates will want to focus on legislation that will increase growth and jobs, or focus on local state legislative goals such as natural resources, guns, or Obamacare.

Third reason: The Democrats and Republicans are split on the matter of immigration reform, and within the Republicans there is also a split. Some Republicans are promising reform after they gain a majority in Congress. Other Republicans say they don’t trust Mr. Obama to enforce anything they pass, so reform will have to wait much longer after this year.

Mr. Obama recently said that there is only a small window in which to pass reform this year. After that, congressional candidates will be focusing 100% on their election campaigns. 

If we look at the matter from a more positive viewpoint, we see another study that shows broad support for comprehensive immigration reform -- even among Republicans. Sixty four percent of republican voters who took part in one study said they want comprehensive reform, compared with 78% of Democrats and 71% of independents. Many national surveys have found overwhelming support for comprehensive immigration reform, though Congress has not been able to get anything done since the Senate passed its CIR last June.

All of these national surveys show that Hispanics and Latinos "strongly support" comprehensive reform. Overall, only 12% of those polled said they "strongly oppose" reform. Most of that opposition comes from Republican conservatives and Tea Party members.

 There are a couple of recent examples of immigration changes that happened outside of Congress. In one, Florida has approved in-state tuition for illegal alien children, and in another the Department of Homeland Security will allow spouses of H-1B visa holders being sponsored for green cards to work in the United States.

 We may see more and more immigration initiatives being approved by various states and Federal agencies, without the help of Congress. With regard to a path to permanent residence or citizenship for illegal aliens, that will have to wait until Congress makes the appropriate moves.

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 Q.1. Should the Vietnamese community be in favor of Immigration Reform?
A.1. If we are talking about the Comprehensive Immigration Reform that is contained in the 2013 Senate version of the plan, then that would not be beneficial to the Vietnamese community. Under that plan, the F4 category would be eliminated, and the F3 group would be restricted. The emphasis would be on merit-based petitions rather than family relationships.

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Q.2. If Congress does not provide new immigration legislation, will the individual states take any action?
A.2. Quite a few states have approved drivers licenses and tuition aid for illegal aliens, but that is about as far as they can go without additional action by Congress.

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 Q.3. If the Supreme Court decides in favor of the CSPA-F2B matter, will that decision be of help to all F2B petitions?
 A.3. We are still waiting for the Supreme Court to decide the issue. Their decision will only apply to applicants who were included in an F3 or F4 petition, but were too old to qualify for CSPA when their parents immigrated to the US.

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