THE IMMIGRATION BILL THAT COULDN’T.
The much-hyped immigration reform bill that millions of undocumented immigrants, as well as their families and allies, have been waiting for is expected to be introduced in the Senate this week. And, as disappointing as it will be given that the last time any sort of immigration legislation was in consideration was 2007, it looks like this legislation is not going to make a dent in this immigration conundrum we find ourselves in.
The gist of the bill is that only some of the 11 million people in the country without documentation will gain status, it will take at the very least 13 years to get to citizenship, border security and enforcement is tantamount to any of that happening, and there’s no permanent solution to deal with undocumented immigrants in the future.
As a matter of fact, anyone who came here without authorization after December 31, 2011 will be in danger of being deported.
So, you see, the immigration “reform” isn’t actually reforming much. It’s rather kind of like IRCA Part 2, you remember that bill from 1986 that President Ronald Reagan signed? It took 6 years, but the bill eventually got through, granted people status and beefed up border enforcement, but didn’t provide a permanent solution.
So is the “reform” part of this bill that, in another 27 years, Congress will have to pass another “comprehensive” immigration reform bill to deal with the fact that there hasn’t been a process put into place? And what about the billions of dollars that did, and will, go to defense contractors who work hand-in-hand with the border enforcement agencies?
It would seem that they are the real winners in this reform.
The rest of us, it would seem, will have to be content with watching Congress play chicken for the Latino vote. The Democrats are going to blame Republicans, especially in the House, for being unfriendly to Latinos and damming up the reform. Republicans are going to blame Democrats for being unreasonable and too touchy-feely, when the reality is both sides are having the same conversation: enforcement first, then we can talk about giving a few people status.
We’ll see how the bill plays out, whether it’s changed enough to make an impact for the better — or the worse — but either way it seems the spirit of reform has been lost in the shuffle. Lost somewhere between profits for defense contractors and the points that politicos use to keep score.
Copyright 2013 by Sara Inés Calderón
Sara Inés Calderón
la vida es dura, pero es bella