With approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. and Congress at a near standstill on how to resolve the issue of what to do with them all, immigration reform is turning out to be a key issue in many upcoming midterm elections.
Despite that fact that many of the undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. have already been working here for years and have even started families here, they still run the risk of being deported once they face an immigration judge. There are also 57,000 unaccompanied minors who have been apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border since October 2013. The situation is also raising tensions in the U.S. as some argue the undocumented children should be sent home.
According to Geopolitical Monitor, there’s a lot at stake for the midterm elections that will be held Nov. 4. All of the 435 congressmen and women who hold seats in the House of Representatives are facing reelection, and one-third of the seats in the Democratic-held Senate are also up for grabs.
Currently, Republicans hold control of the House of Representatives. In order to take control of the chamber, Democrats would need to capture 17 seats in addition to holding onto the seats they already have. If Republicans are able to gain six additional seats in the Senate, they will also control that legislative chamber.
Immigration has been a major issue for lawmakers in recent months as the number of undocumented immigrants has begun to cause concern as to how the situation should be addressed. Geopolitical Monitor reported. Two bills were introduced in Congress before lawmakers left for their August recess that included a proposal to expand the program that provides work permits for undocumented immigrants as well as an expansion to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. An expansion to DACA would allow for delays in deportation hearings for unaccompanied minors who came to the U.S. without the proper documentation. The source noted that nothing was done about either of the proposals before Congress adjourned.
States in which immigration reform will be a major issue of discussion in midterm elections include Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, according to Real Clear Politics.