La Opinión: Democrats try to save immigration reform again
The Democratic leadership is considering a new proposal for immigration reform, which they hope will shake up the prospects for legislation in the House of Representatives.
According to sources, the plan is to present a bill takes the legislation the Senate passed and eliminates the Hoeven-Corker Amendment, which doubles the number of border patrol agents and adds more fencing, among other things. To replace it, House Democrats want to substitute a border security bill that was approved by the House in May.
Sources claim that nothing is final and they said, “What we know now is that we will not let Republicans slowly kill immigration reform.”
At an event this week, principals from the polling firm Latino Decisions made it clear that if immigration reform fails, Hispanics will blame both parties.
Matt Barreto, who is also a political science professor at the University of Washington, said, “No party will have considerable political benefits unless a law is passed.”
Gary Segura, a professor at Stanford, said Democrats will share in the blame because the people are bothered by their general lack of effort. He said that Latinos share the same skepticism that the rest of the country has with the work of Congress.
America’s Voice: In this week’s column, our very own Maribel Hastings writes about the demise of the Group of Seven and says that just because the group has come to an end, doesn’t mean immigration reform has to.
The column explains that the Republicans have been accusing Obama of acting unilaterally and even unconstitutionally, just as they did when President Obama announced his deferred action for DREAMers (DACA) program. But since we have yet to see any legislation on their part, theirs is a vicious cycle of complaining about the problem, doing nothing about it, and exploiting it as a political issue.
Now with the end of the Group of Seven, the Democrats are free to move forward with their own bill in order to pressure Republicans.
Maribel also stresses the importance of serious legislation. The bill passed in the Senate should be considered serious alternative; it has the votes to pass in the House. Meanwhile, House Committees have passed a total of five immigration bills, none of which address the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
Time is running out and no one should lose sight of the human lives that depend on legislation that could end the separation of families. It is also important to remember that immigration reform has the support of Latino and non-Latino voters alike, and come election time they will decide who was part of the problem and who was part of the solution.
You can find Maribel’s piece published in some of the most widely circulated Spanish-language newspapers and online publications around the country, such as, El Nuevo Herald (FL), Radio Bilingue, Univision, Huffpost Voces, LatinoCalifornia.com, La Opinión, El Diario-La Prensa (NY), La Raza (IL), El Mensajero (CA), La Prensa (FL), Rumbo (TX), Contacto Magazine, Hoy Dallas. You can also view it in English here.