The government is open for business and the US will pay its bills for at least the next few months. Most observers and the national polls suggest that the political theater that caused the manufactured crisis has been a disaster for the GOP brand.
On the employment immigration front, the end of the shutdown is good news in that PERM applications, Prevailing Wage Requests and Labor Condition Applications can be filed and will continue to be processed by the Department of Labor. The DOL sites were not functional throughout the shutdown.
In a shrewd political move, according to an article on thehill.com: “President Obama vowed Tuesday that he would pursue an immigration reform vote in the House the “day after” Congress reaches an agreement to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling.” Given the infighting within the GOP and the importance of that party courting, or at the very least not offending, Latino voters, this will prove to be an interesting debate.
It is a win-win situation for the Democrats. On the one hand, passing immigration reform with a legalization component is what the majority of Democrats, and the country as a whole want to see happen. On the other hand, the GOP is divided on this issue, especially some Tea Party conservatives. The extreme right wing of the House could once again cause turmoil, disrupt progress and spread hateful rhetoric. This would once again put House Speaker John Boehner in a situation where he will be unable to get his party to do anything relating to immigration reform.
Moreover, given the recent Republican mess, Democrats may see an opportunity to win back the House in 2014. If that were to happen, and assuming Democrats were to keep control of the Senate, the party would likely pass immigration reform that would be far more lenient than any compromise with the Republicans would be. It would probably have less stringent requirements for legalizing the undocumented and would lead to continued success for the party in the 2016 elections in that Latino voters would be grateful for being made to feel welcome, rather than stigmatized by rhetoric, in their own country.
My opinions are based on a snapshot of the current situation. Politics and voter sentiment are constantly evolving. However, if this were a cartoon, the President’s push for immigration reform right now would cause John Boehner’s head to explode!