On January 21, President Barack Obama delivered his second inaugural address, in which he declared “Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as the land of opportunity.” One week later the President declared, “the time has come for common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform. The time is now. Now is the time. Now is the time. Now is the time.” As the President made this emphatic call for reform, an optimistic audience chanted “Si se puede! Si se puede!”
Four months followed this emphatic call for reform before the “Gang of 8” immigration proposal passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, an event marked by a surprising lack of organized dissent. Unlike the reform efforts in 2007, which encountered a loud and organized opposition, the 2013 reform proposals have yet to encounter a threatening adversary. But that doesn’t mean opposition isn’t coming. The first article below, “why immigration reform has a shot,” describes why today’s circumstances make it less likely that opposition to reform will pose a threat. However, the second article, “public backlash to immigration reform is coming,” makes a bleaker forecast. Like the first article it addresses the relative silence of the opposition, but it concludes that the noise is coming. The only question that remains is whether the pro-reform forces will remain louder and stronger. Here’s hoping the answer is yes, and today’s calm isn’t a harbinger of tomorrow’s storm.