Upcoming Election Turning Point for Immigration Reform

It is amazing that politicians think they can call the Latin electorate evil spirits, but still want their vote.

Many pundits think Obama will carry a second term, largely based on his move to give temporary legal status to undocumented youth. There are two things that stand out here: one is that the status is temporary and that this is a turning point of sorts for immigrant policy. Many suggest it was a move predicated on pure politics. It certainly was, and if advance polling is any indication, it may mean Obama will be the president for another four years.

One thing is certain in this battle of political wills. If Romney does not take up the banner of immigration reform and start talking about “real” relief, real plans for illegal immigrants, the Latino vote will go to Obama. For now, Romney is claiming he too is pro-immigration. That is hardly the case, and the Latin vote will not be fooled by smoke and mirrors.

On one side of this issue, Republicans say Latin Americans are more worried about the economy than immigration. That may be true to a certain extent, as they took a large hit in the recession. However, just because Romney now says he will improve the economy, many are wondering how he can brand Latin Americans as being akin to demons and then expect them to vote for him.

It is a given that immigration reform has always been a highly controversial issue, and each passing year, it still generates heated, passionate hyperbole, but nothing gets done. Whatever happened to welcoming immigrants? Just look to America’s rich history, and you will see foreigners were regarded in a positive light – unless there has been social or economic stress. Then, immigrants become the ilk that suck the life out of the nation socially and economically, which is a backwards way of viewing things, since immigrants work, pay taxes and contribute to their communities.

You may recall in 1994 California Governor Pete Wilson bringing in Proposition 187, banning illegal aliens from using the social services, public education and health care systems. The courts eventually bounced it as being unconstitutional, but it should be remembered it passed with a large margin. What is all this an indication of? It’s a clear sign of politicians looking for a scapegoat to blame for the social upheaval of the day, a sleight-of-hand to get the electorate’s attention diverted, because they have no real solutions to improve the economy.

And immigration reform? It is still on the back burner. Should we be surprised?

Sally Odell — Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, PA is an immigration lawyer in Miami with immigration law offices in Orlando and Miami Florida. To learn more, visit http://www.rifkinandfoxisicoff.com.