Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 29, 2011 – Once again, fingers are pointing to Washington for a federal solution to a federal problem – immigration reform. And once again, there is no solution.
“If comprehensive immigration reform were a revolving door, it would be worn out right about now with all the various revolutions it has gone through over the years. These past few years however have been particularly hard. The ‘one step forward, two steps or more backwards’ movement of immigration reform has made pretty much zero headway, and because of that, states are going off on their own and making up immigration laws. That’s scary,” said Larry S. Rifkin, managing partner at Rikfin & Fox-Isicoff, an immigration law firm with law offices in Miami, Florida and Orlando, Florida.
However, some states are finally beginning to see the light of money, and following that light bulb going on, the light of reason towards comprehensive immigration reform. Some states, and Florida is one of them, are beginning to realize that what their state legislature is proposing for immigration bills could well harm their tourism and agricultural industries. In fact, many business owners are so opposed to the latest attempt to bring in harsh immigration bills that they have taken an outspoken stand against the prevailing political will. They view immigration as a federal problem needing a federal solution.
“Having said that, since there doesn’t seem to be a federal solution anywhere in sight, states feel they need to step in to fill what they view as a federal vacuum in relation to immigration reform. It is not that the business community feels they don’t need a consistent immigration policy, it’s that they think the White House needs to be leading the charge to do that,” Rifkin said.
Another interesting quirk in this tale of two views on immigration reform relates to the dawning realization that if the states – and the federal government – fully understood that immigrants have economic clout, therein lies a solution to the lousy economy. However, it appears to many across the nation that the current administration is not using its authority to move forward and make the necessary changes to immigration policy. That may have to do with the last election when the balance of power got shifted off its axis, and moving forward became impossible with too many cooks trying to stir up the broth.
“The bottom line is, on one side of the barbed wire fence is the desire for enhanced immigration enforcement. On the other side, the burning drive for comprehensive immigration reform. Well, you can’t have it both ways. So who suffers? Who pays the price for this complex and astounding indecision? The very people this policy was intended to help – immigrants,” said Rifkin, an Orlando immigration lawyer. Furthermore, the real power lies in the head of state – the president. And he is doing what?
Over 400,000 illegals were deported in 2010, but many of them did not fit into U.S. Customs and Immigration’s neat categories. In fact, it became clear over time that the right hand did not know, or did not care, what the left hand was doing.
“And here we are today, stuck in the middle of heaven’s knows what, without nowhere to go and not much to show for a comprehensive immigration reform policy, and time marches on,” Rifkin said.
Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, P.A.
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