Tonight the US Senate will be voting to debate the controversial Health Care Reform bill. This is another step toward passage of an overhaul of the nation’s health insurance system. Just weeks ago, critics contended that it was next to impossible for this to occur.
Meanwhile, on the immigration front, advocates and some members of congress are hard at work holding meetings and moving forward with plans for comprehensive immigration reform. USCIS is preparing for millions of additional petitions/applications as though an immigration overhaul is a fait-accompli.
Although I for one fully support comprehensive immigration reform as the current system is broken and is in desperate need of drastic changes, I believe it will be an uphill battle to pass such reform in 2010. The reasons afor my skepticism are two-fold, high national unemployment and the 2010 mid-term elections.
If a proposal to legalize undocumented aliens were to be based on employment there would be political heat for foreign-nationals “taking American jobs”. Moreover, the difficulties aliens would face in finding employer sponsors and lengthy delays in the labor certification process would mean that many undocumented aliens would not avail themselves of such a program.
The mid-term elections may be a red herring although the political threat of supporting so-called “amnesty” has scared politicians in the past. In past elections, it was those congressional representatives who vocally opposed immigration reform and made it the center-pieces of tehir campaigns who lost their districts for the most part. Furthermore, with Lou Dobbs off of CNN every weeknight spewing anti-immigration propaganda, some representatives may feel less political pressure to pander to the vocal, anti-immigration minority.
Health Care Reform seemed like an impossible dream, attempts at passage have failed in the past. As time moves on however, passage of this law seems ever more likely. Sounds very much like the story of immigration reform. 2010 promises to be an interesting year.
Please visit our website at www.immigrantconnect.com.