With big immigration reform having been successfully pushed through Senate, many fear it is has hit a wall in the House. Republicans have repeatedly stated their desire to do away with the large all-encompassing bill and instead focus on fixing immigration with smaller, bite-sized laws. Beyond that, there’s always worries that Democrats and Republicans aren’t agreeing on how to address the issues at hand.
But things are not as frozen as they may seem. A recent poll shows that almost 75% of Republican voters support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants (as long as stricter border security is enforced, too).
Democrats also have compromised, agreeing to eliminate the diversity visa lottery and the discontinuing of family visas for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens. This alleviates Republicans concerns about the ease of people with weak ties to America having a fast path to citizenship.
Some Republicans have singled out the Obama administration as their biggest complaint about the proposed immigration reform — they believe he will not properly secure the Mexican border, no matter what the legislation says. But the proposed changes will long outlive Obama’s administration, which only has a few more years left. Proponents of the bill who also agree about Obama’s lack of action say that it’s better to get reform now; by the time its effects are fully felt, Obama will be out of office, anyway.
Both sides of the aisle agree that the 11 million undocumented immigrants here today can not just be deported. It will take a significant amount of compromise to find a solution, just like with the 1965 Immigration Act, which passed with support from 75% of Democrats and 85% of Republicans.
Such high levels of agreement between Democrats and Republicans may seem almost impossible today, but in reality it’s far from impossible. Both sides agree that there is an issue, and there’s even a consensus on the general solution; now there just needs to be compromise on the smaller details.
More on Immigration Reform:
- Immigration Reform 2013
- Gang of 8
- Earned Citizenship
- Streamlining Immigration
- Strengthening Border Security
- More Accountability for Employers Hiring Undocumented Immigrants