Immigration Reform–Will Its Time EVER Come?

Lets be clear here, the number of  people crossing the southern border of the US has been steadily declining for several years, at least since the beginning of the Obama administration. At the same time, the numbers of Border Patrol agents has increased. The Obama administration has deported substantially more people during five and one half years than the Bush administration did in eight years. The US Senate has passed a bi-partisan bill to reform current immigration laws. The GOP led House has failed to take any action whatsoever and appears unlikely to do so any time soon. Only recently has the current crisis of children fleeing Central America into the US reversed the trend of border crossing. But that is NOT part of the overall issue. So what are the issues? 

Children born here in the US of illegal immigrants have the legal right to stay here. Deporting their parents leaves them in a quandary. Current laws in many states treat those children differently for purposes of college tuition and other benefits. The longer people are here illegally, the more likely it is that they will acquire better paying jobs through education, hard work and experience. While they came here illegally, the trajectory of self-improvement for them and their children is no different than other legal immigrants over the course of America’s history. When first arriving, whether legally or illegally, the jobs the immigrants take are those that long-time residents are unwilling to take–the dirtiest, the most dangerous, the most poorly paid. What is needed is a means to enable those illegals to become legal–contributing tax revenues to America rather than being a burden.

Fact: American employers–specifically and especially those needing low-skilled workers to do dirty and dangerous jobs for little pay WANT those immigrants to be here. So where is the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and other Republican-leaning pro-business organizations in the immigration reform issue? Well, they may, from time-to-time make a little noise in favor of sensible solutions,  many of their members continue to be more than willing to risk sanctions for employing illegals for the sake of getting the jobs done that keep them in business. Is there, in fact, an incentive for them to maintain the status quo? Would they have to provide higher pay or more benefits if the illegals became legal? Would they have to be more conscious of many worker protection laws that they may be able to ignore because illegals can’t safely report them?

Seemingly, the only way the issues of immigration reform will be resolved is when the GOP begins losing enough seats in Congress through a backlash from Hispanics. At the earliest, that may be in 2016, but it may not come much before 2020.