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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

GET READY FOR THE THRILLA' THIS FALL

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It
has now been nearly two years since the Senate voted to kill an immigration
reform package and the hopes of ever dealing with the mess that is our
immigration system seemed over for the foreseeable future. >>



>



But
a lot has changed in 23 months. Most importantly, there was an election in 2008
that dramatically changed the politics on the issue. There are ten more
Democrats in the Senate and nearly 30 more in the House. And there is a
Democratic President that likely owes his win to Hispanic voters turning out in
large numbers to deliver several states that traditionally have voted
Republican. >>



>



And
there is a public that seems to be ready for a solution despite a tough economy
where one might expect anti-immigrant sentiment to be growing. Public opinion
polls show that the public overwhelmingly supports an immigration reform
package. More interestingly, a hopeful sign is that immigration has dropped
from the second most important issue to Americans in 2007 to twelfth in the
latest polls. That's important because that ranking traditionally only rises
when people are growingly anti-immigrant. When the ranking is low, it means
members of Congress can make tougher decisions without worrying as much about
the political impact.>>



>



Since
the President was elected, a big question has been when immigration reform will
be taken up again. Some have suggested that reform would have to wait until
after either the 2010 or 2012 elections when the economy has recovered. Others
have suggested that the President's political capital and the number of
Democrats in Congress will probably be lower after the next election so it
would be better to deal with this issue now. Furthermore, Hispanic voters could
be angered if the Democrats don't move on this issue soon.>>



>



The
latter argument appears to be winning out and a number of recent statements by
congressional leaders and the holding of a major "summit" at the White House on
immigration reform suggest that we're going to see a major effort to deal with
immigration reform in this session of Congress.>>



>



Senator
Majority Leader Reid has stated several times that he's got the votes to pass a
reform  bill and that he's prepared to
make this one of his major priorities this year. Congresswoman Pelosi also
expressed optimism and recently noted that she was prepared to move on an
immigration bill right after the Senate. And President Obama noted in his
statement after the summit that we need to move on a reform bill soon.>>



>



And
now Senator Schumer, the Chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee, has
just stated that he will introduce the immigration reform bill before Labor
Day. This will mean markup sessions in September and perhaps October and then a
debate in the fall. Of course, this could be pushed back if the health care
bill currently in the news is still dominating the debate. >>



>



But
the optimists out there seem to have something to smile about right now. And
this is despite some recent news that made the restrictionists happy including
the vote to permanently reauthorize the E-Verify program last week. One thing
that has changed in the last two years is a steady stream of news that efforts
to control the border are producing results and enforcement efforts in the
worksite are now serious and having an impact on employers' compliance with
immigration laws. And that makes it a lot easier for the public to accept
broader immigration reform proposals.>>



>



Don't
get me wrong. The fight for immigration reform this fall will be brutal. But
I'm just excited that it's going to happen this year and am looking forward to
working hard for its passage.>>

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Comments

  1. Another voice's Avatar
    Looks like some of the antis are not taking a break on this:

    Lawyer Leads an Immigration Fight

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/21/us/21lawyer.html?ref=us
  2. George Chell's Avatar
    I am not that optimistic. Any immigration legislation will not likely be debated until next year, ie., after the economy recovers. And health debate will go on into fall.
  3. Legal_Alien_from_Roswell's Avatar
    Interestingly, i can feel a change in the republicans, in the hearing of Sotomayer, you could sense that they understood the power of the hispanic vote.
  4. Legal-immigrant's Avatar

    Whenever it is, it needs a strong push from the president which is lacking here and unfortunately I don't see any change in that.
  5. gg's Avatar
    Greg .. did you write this blog ? ..
  6. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Yes. It's actually the opening piece in my latest newsletter which is going up on my site shortly.
  7. Legal-immigrant's Avatar

    Greg, Do you have another site other than this blog?
  8. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    www.visalaw.com
  9. Jack's Avatar
    'And there is a Democratic President that likely owes his win to Hispanic voters turning out in large numbers to deliver several states that traditionally have voted Republican.'

    Likely? You don't sound sure. Can you name the specific states which would not have gone to Obama had there not been a single Hispanic vote and whether those states' electoral votes add up to 96? In other words, without Hispanic votes, Obama would have lost x, y,...and those add up to 96+ electoral votes. That's what would have to be true for Obama to 'owe his win' to Hispanic voters.
  10. George Chell 's Avatar
    "Likely? You don't sound sure. Can you name the specific states which would not have gone to Obama had there not been a single Hispanic vote and whether those states' electoral votes add up to 96? In other words, without Hispanic votes, Obama would have lost x, y,...and those add up to 96+ electoral votes. That's what would have to be true for Obama to 'owe his win' to Hispanic voters."

    Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico...dont know whether it adds to 96, but that is a hefty number and all of them went to George W. Bush in 2004.

  11. IowaResistor's Avatar
    That's ok. You go ahead and try to pass immigration reform. If it includes guest worker programs, amnesty of any kind, We'll beat it again like we did in 2007. Bring it on!!!!
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