Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) September 13, 2013 – It is clear that the Republicans are still stalling immigration reform, despite indicating they would get on the same page with the Democrats to pass the bill.
“Despite a close vote to pass the bill in the Senate (84-15), the 15-man holdout was Republicans. The same party that said they were on board with the Democrats to get the reform bill passed. It appears what they say and what they do are two different things,” added Larry Rifkin, a Miami immigration lawyer and managing partner at Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, with law offices in Miami, Florida and Orlando, Florida.
In reality, immigration reform is not going to happen any time soon, despite all the compromises made, by both sides, to move the bill forward. Border control could not get any more rigorous under the latest proposal and the path to citizenship any clearer. Nonetheless, House Republicans are staunchly refusing to pass the bill. And the reason? “There are likely a number of reasons, but the one that comes to mind first is they are already putting together an election platform for 2016, aimed at the disgruntled electorate who has bucked immigration reform from day one,” suggested Rifkin.
Interestingly, the political back-story is far more complex than anyone would dream. Party leaders on a national level do not want to lose the Latino vote. House members do not want to lose the White vote. Only about 10 percent of voters in Republican districts happen to be Latino. “What we have here are two different points-of-view and neither the twain shall meet. Even within the same party there are divisive rifts that will hold up the process when it comes to immigration reform,” added Rifkin.
The August recess saw only small, piecemeal steps. No real concessions. No real winners in the immigration reform battle. The politicians are still focusing on bits and pieces, not the whole picture. Accordingly they started on interior enforcement, border security, an agricultural guest program and visas for high-skilled workers. There is no sign of a path to citizenship. “It looks like a scratch, still,” said Rifkin.
Immigration reform may still happen. However, no one appears to be taking any bets on it. “And should it happen, it would not be in the comprehensive manner that would make a true difference,” Rifkin pointed out.
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