Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson met with both advocates and vocal opponents of immigration reform on May 7 to discuss his views on U.S. deportation policies. The Obama administration, which has been up and down in the polls recently due to factors like President Barack Obama’s wavering on immigration reform, has been put in the spotlight by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS has plans to examine the efficacy of the administration’s efforts to enforce deportation policies in an effort to appease both sides of the immigration reform debate.
Groups like Numbers USA, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, the Center for Immigration Studies and Progressives for American Immigration Reform attended the DHS-run meeting to hear what Johnson had to say. Johnson did not state if the deportation review would bring any immediate action or if the results would allow the DHS to form a timetable for results. However, advocates of undocumented immigrants believe that immigration reform can still be achieved this year.
Supporters around the country maintain the hope that comprehensive legislation will pass due to high-profile support in Congress and business communities. Speaker of the House John Boehner has been aggressively vocal about making progress on the issue and has urged his colleagues for months to act immediately. Leaders of U.S. business communities have publicly supported immigration reform, believing an overhaul of the current naturalization process will create more jobs for all Americans and drastically improve the U.S. economy. Another factor is the primary-election season ending. Republicans who were worried a hard stance on immigration reform might hurt their chances of winning reelection might find it easier to submit a progressive nod for legislative changes once the votes have been counted.