Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) February 14, 2014 – There is a lot of speculation about what the real reasons are for the holdup on immigration reform. Meanwhile, it languishes in the House.
“In the greater scheme of things, it may not matter what the reasons are for delaying immigration reform. The fact is, it is not going anywhere and this has a direct impact on over 11 million undocumented illegals in the nation. 2013 was hailed as ‘the’ year it would be passed. Truth be told, there is an agreement of sorts out there, but it sits on the shelf, waiting for the politicians to get on with the agenda, and more particularly, get on the same page and actually do something. The idea of cohesiveness in dealing with immigration reform seems to be foreign to the Republicans,” indicates Larry Rifkin, a Miami immigration lawyer and managing partner at Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, with law offices in Miami, Florida and Orlando, Florida.
2013 was also a year filled with ever increasing protests, fasts, demonstrations, flaming rhetoric, political infighting, disagreements over border patrol issues, deportation raids, marches, mixed messages and not much in the way of action on passing anything to help immigration reform come to eventual fruition. On one side of the house, the Senate wants a complete package. On the other, the House wants to do immigration reform on a piece-by-piece basis. In the middle are 11 million people waiting for the show to get on the road.
What else did 2013 bring? The health care roll out was a fiasco, the government shutdown rocked the foundations of the nation and the economy continues to stagger along, looking weak and pale, and immigration reform is still nowhere to be seen. The biggest issue in the mix that created a great divide in the House was the budget, and it still looms, casting a foreboding shadow. The situation is made even worse by the fact this is an election year. Either immigration reform gets done right away, before the budget and the election, or it will remain, yet again, a major plank in campaign platforms. “You don’t need to be a brain surgeon to figure out that people are getting sick of the inaction, and usually when that happens, they get into an ‘anyone else but’ mentality,” Rifkin says.
Is change on the horizon in terms of the government? Hard to call that can of worms this early in the year, but the potential for a change in leadership and party at the helm are real issues worth considering. The final call on who to elect will have a great deal to do with whether or not one of the largest voting blocs in the nation, the Latinos, understand the delays to implementing reform as being out of the government’s control or not, or if they see the government as two factions that could not agree on anything to help the people who elected them to implement immigration reform. While it is a grand rallying cry — immigration reform is crucial, a must, necessary for the nation – if neither side does much, who gets the votes?
“Strip away all the campaign speeches and get down to brass tacks and what you see is that the Democrats did get something to the table and the Republicans kept it from going any further. How that will translate at the polls is anyone’s guess. The bottom line though is that immigration reform still needs to be passed – period,” adds Rifkin. “It’s not just about 11 million people. It is also about human rights on a larger scale, and that is something we need to be mindful of.”
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