Lawmakers keeping an open mind about immigration reform

Throughout the immigration reform debate, both sides have used many arguments to prove the opposition wrong. Some people believe that allowing undocumented immigrants to legally apply for citizenship rewards those who break the law or punishes immigrants who have gone through the step-by-step process of naturalization. Other people believe that immigration reform would change the rules of citizenship altogether and alter the economic landscape for documented citizens looking for work. The last argument that anybody would think the Republican or Democratic parties would use is judging immigrants because of their race and ethnicity. However, some representatives of Congress believe that a more open-minded approach to different cultures and backgrounds might help immigration reform move forward.

According to Rep. Steve Israel, the head of a House committee that elects Democrats, racial issues are affecting Congress when it comes to the immigration overhaul. Israel shares this sentiment with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who stated earlier this month that it seemed like race is playing a big part in the GOP’s inability to develop strong, comprehensive immigration laws.

However, the GOP has recently shown that it is a strong supporter of immigrants and their struggle. Earlier this month, former Gov. Jeb Bush called undocumented immigrants breaking the law for their families an act of love. According to Fox News Latino, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., believes the Republican party needs to be more diverse in order to gain the respect of the immigrant community.

“The bottom line is that the Hispanic community … is not going to hear us until we get beyond that issue,” Paul said in a statement. “They’re not going to care whether we go to the same church or have the same values or believe in the same kind of future of the country until we get beyond that. … We’ve got to get beyond deportation to get to the rest of the issues.”