Despite vocal public concern expressed by immigration reform advocates across the country, the Republican-run House of Representatives Budget Committee has chosen to vote against a comprehensive immigration reform bill 21 to 15. Led by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the majority of the conservatives serving on the committee believe the version that the Democrats proposed does not make border security a priority and ignores the importance of immigration laws already in place. The committee’s refusal to take the Democratic immigration reform bill into consideration this year will likely affect the outcome of elections taking place in the next few years due to the large number of Latino voters invested in immigration reform.
What legislative changes in immigration reform would mean for the U.S.
According to estimates provided by the Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends Project, more than 11.7 million undocumented immigrants live in the U.S. They work in many different industries, including farming and manufacturing, providing food for their families and sending their children to school with their earnings. Rep. Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif., believes that a comprehensive immigration reform bill would produce many economic benefits and create unity in a much-divided nation.
“[The Democrats’ immigration bill] would lower the deficit by more than $900 billion, while creating an additional 120,000 jobs each year,” Cárdenas said in a statement. “This [current] budget cripples our commitment to seniors, to middle class families, to kids in our schools and to the job creators who we depend on to build this nation. It also ignores the massive effect that comprehensive immigration reform could have on our economy.”
Executive actions toward immigration reform possible
People closely following immigration reform say President Barack Obama might step in to improve the status of immigration reform and offer more opportunities for undocumented immigrants. Lorella Praeli, the director of advocacy and policy for the immigrant advocacy group United We Dream, believes this will force the GOP to take action.
“The president made it clear that three months from now, if there is no legislative action, he will do more using executive authority,” Praeli told The Washington Post. “That was the message that we got in different ways.”