There is considerable debate at the moment over the prospects for immigration reform this year. On the one hand, an electorally chastened Republican Party seems to be reevaluating its long-standing support for deportation-only immigration policies. On the other hand, it looks as though the White House and Congress are embarking upon lengthy debates over gun control and tax-and-spending policies; debates which might leave little room for a rational discussion of U.S. immigration laws.
Nevertheless, reports from the White House indicate that President Obama is ready to forge ahead on immigration reform. It remains to be seen, however, what form that will take. Will the President opt for a truly comprehensive solution, or will he adopt a more piecemeal type of reform that targets only some subsets of the immigrant population? Let us hope that the comprehensive approach prevails. The fates of millions of people have been hanging in the balance for far too long.
Such piecemeal measures don’t get to the root of the problem: the creation of a pathway to citizenship for all of the 11 million unauthorized immigrants now living in the United States.