The people want immigration reform. For the past two weeks every time I google “immigration reform” and select the news tab, dozens of articles from various sources appear and present polls demonstrating that the people want reform. The media providers run the political gambit (from Fox News to MSNBC) and the geographical gambit (from east to west), and essentially every article arrives at the same conclusion, the people want reform. The people have spoken, now we must hope our voices are heard.
Whether Congress is listening is yet to be seen, but at the very least they’re talking. On Tuesday June, 11 the Senate voted to begin debate on the proposed comprehensive immigration reform bill, with only 15 senators objecting. Debate has begun, which is a positive sign. It shows the Senate is aware that the time is now to address the broken immigration system. But the overwhelming support to begin debate should not be confused with consensus on a finished product. Many Republican Senators have declared that they will not approve the bill unless significant amendments are made to improve border security. This morning Congress appears to have cleared that hurdle, although Conservative Republicans are likely to create additional obstacles. Whether it’s John Cornyn insisting on “hard triggers”, which would require that subjective border security measures be met before citizenship is granted; or Ted Cruz, who will oppose a pathway to citizenship regardless of reason and cry “amnesty” to all who will listen, those who oppose reform will persist. The good news is, as Congress continues to reach reasonable compromises, the oppositions numbers dwindle. The fight is far from over, but it appears we are inching closer to a bill that will allow good, hardworking people to work towards citizenship, and enjoy the benefits and responsibilities such citizenship entails.