In the first half of the year we did an extensive series of coverage on US Immigration Reform including pieces our in depth look at the winners and losers of the proposed US Immigration Reform 2013 which eventually passed the US Senate on June 27.
The interesting thing that has tangibly happened with Immigration so far this year has been the equal recognition of same sex couples for the purposes of marriage based sponsorship for permanent residency. Already since the Supreme Court case which was about equal benefits for same-sex couples like financial, medical, death, etc. and wasn’t related to Immigration at all, many foreign immigrants legally married to Americans in states around the country which recognize gay marriage have now got their Green Cards.
However the Government Shutdown as a result of ongoing fights over Obamacare, the Debt Ceiling and the Budget have dominate headlines and Congressional debate and importantly media airtime, has meant Immigration debate in the House has been relegated to an after thought. Furthermore House Speaker, John Boehner has indicated the Senate passed Immigration reform will not be able to pass the Republican majority House. The major gripe being the pathway to eventual US Citizenship clause for approximately 11 Million undocumented immigrants.
Now in the second half of October 2013 with Immigration debate barely in its infancy in House and the notorious partisanship of that chamber, the anti-Obama wing in the Republican party, the slow moving nature of getting any legislation done let alone major ones and the fact there is not many weeks between the slower Thanksgiving to Christmas period, prospects look more bleak.
The tragedy is that the reasons for US Immigration Reform still are constant and ever growing and there at least seems to be enough of a bi-partisan acknowledgment from the saner member in Washington that continuing ignorance of the problems is not an option nor is in the best interests of the United States. However this means putting our collective faith and trust in the US Congress and in its expediency which even when it comes to universally supported, non controversial and minor changes like extension of Veterans benefits, money via lobby groups, the media and general stupidity get in the way.
The reason for the major push now by President Obama by doing the media rounds, major Immigration lobby groups like Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us and many Hispanic focus Immigration support groups and even aspirational Republican presidential candidates in 2016 is that if this extends past 2013 into the mid-term election year of 2014 it is likely it would be at least 2015 before anything could happen.
So is Immigration Reform in 2013, dead or alive? … well in a poetic way it is on life support in serious need of major transplant. Is there a donor somewhere in American willing to sacrifice themselves for the cause?