Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) February 28, 2014 — Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has criticized U.S. immigration policy and called for reform.
Jindal, a Republican who has been mentioned as a possible 2016 presidential candidate, had some harsh words for the U.S. immigration system in an interview with CNN on February 2, 2014. As the son of Indian immigrants, the governor communicated a sense of frustration, but also the hope that his party may be edging closer toward compromise legislation on immigration in 2014.
Jindal, whose parents emigrated to the United States from Punjab, told CNN’s Candy Crowley that the United States has its immigration policies “backwards”. In essence, he claimed, Washington makes it very easy for people to enter the country illegally through its porous borders but makes the process difficult for those who want to work in the country to obtain documented status through the proper channels.
“What I believe we need is a system of high walls and a broad gate,” Jindal said. “Right now we’ve got the opposite. We’ve got low walls and a narrow gate.”
Jindal is among a growing group of Republicans and Democrats who are increasingly impatient with the pace of immigration reform on Capitol Hill. That impatience is now layering upon the pre-existing and profound frustration among business leaders, pro-immigration organizations and others with a keen interest in the immigrant community.
“I think that Governor Jindal’s comments reflect the feeling of many immigrants, especially from India, who want to come to the United States to study or work here and/or become citizens,” says Annie Banerjee, a prominent Houston attorney who specializes in immigration law. “They pursue their dreams through legal means, but they often feel the negative fallout from the charged debate over illegal immigration.”
Jindal also said that he would like to see the United States adopt an accepting policy toward the children of illegal immigrants, the so-called “Dreamers” who seek a public education in this country. The governor’s position is in line with the sentiment of many Republican officials who are the children of immigrants from such places as Latin America and India, including Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, another officeholder often mentioned as a leading candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
“Jindal feels what many children of immigrants feel,” Banerjee indicates. “If given a chance, immigrants and the children of immigrants want to be productive, law-abiding members of our society. And, speaking from experience, he knows that their aspirations and hard work can, given the chance, know no limit.”
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