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Immigration reform: Will Republicans ever get it right?


Published: Jul 27, 2013

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Is it really necessary for House Republicans to espouse a new proposal to address the status of illegal immigrants against the already existing Senate comprehensive bill? As preposterous as it may sound, it now seems obvious that power and hegemony are the tools that promote and reflect ideas as universal truths when it comes to the subject of immigration reform in Washington.

Trapped between proponents of comprehensive reform and national GOP leaders who want to attract Hispanic voters, House speaker Boehner now feels compelled to move immigration forward on a step-by-step basis rather than with a comprehensive bill.

Untrue to its form, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) respectively, are now crafting their own legislative version of a “Dream Act” that will provide legal status only to those children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents.

In line with this, Goodlatte stresses that “these children came here through no fault of their own and many of them know no other home than the United States”.

But to even contemplate the thought that Republicans, whose main preoccupation with immigration reform lies mostly in strengthening border security and other interior enforcement of immigration laws, are now addressing the issue of illegal immigrants almost reads like fiction.

And as all works of fiction “read in whole or in part with information that is not factual but rather imaginary”, so too, the Republicans piecemeal concept at tackling immigration reform leaves many wondering whether fiction indeed has the power to generate innovation and change or whether it will further destruct the subplot.

Then again, even if this piecemeal concept rings true, it is easy to see how this new approach features added negativity on Republican leadership and further clouds the dust in moving forward. Evidently, this move is not saturated in a truth that provides freedom for the more than 11 million victims of economic misery, but one where as leading political lecturer Andrew Heywood affirms, “another method whereby ruling elites are using political ideas to contain opposition and restrict debate through ideological manipulation”.

In truth, every sovereign nation has the right to decide who and how an individual can be legalized, but what sense does it make in providing legal status to the children and not the parents? How can one group deserve a higher priority for legalization than the other group if both groups are labeled as illegal?

Regardless of Rand Paul’s (R-KY) emphatic statement “that the GOP will benefit from enacting a version of immigration reform before the election of 2016”, this new conceptual idea of smaller increments as an alternative to immigration reform is still problematic to follow. Not only is it highlighting a backward progress on immigration reform, but it also sheds light on the Republican’s reluctance to provide legal status to illegal immigrants, neglects several fundamental immigration problems and exposes a debauched portrait of their party’s principle.

Yet, Republicans continue walking blindly with open eyes.

And it is in walking this extra mile that Democrats, while criticizing this piecemeal approach, still appear content in breaking up legislation if it means holding separate votes will help win a passage on the House floor.

But finding accord still seems gloomy.

Clearly, this bizarre move by House Republicans shows that the legislative outlook on immigration reform is growing uncertain, making it difficult to concede that an immigration overhaul can be expected by the August deadline.

The move also shows that House Speaker Boehner has either failed or needs a new direction in bringing a bipartisan bill to the House floor. His constant threat of beseeching to a contentious “Hastert Rule” and catering to special interest groups is an urgent awakening to labor unions, churches and organizational groups that it is time to wage an aggressive fight for immigration reform.

In the meantime, while many U.S. companies wait on immigrants to fill future factory, domestic and agricultural jobs legally, an important piece of legislation that favors a way out of the shadows for millions, remain paraded around in political and ideological turmoil.


• Rebecca Theodore is an op-ed columnist based in Washington, DC. She writes on national security and political issues. Follow her on twitter @rebethd, or email at rebethd@aol.com. Published with the permission of caribbeannewsnow.com.


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