Activists working to overhaul America’s immigration system are proclaiming victory at the end of Congress’ August recess. Why? Because they haven’t lost in Congress yet, and public opinion seems to be moving in their direction. With legislation slowed in the House of Representatives, the movement to reform immigration has not topped the news in the weeks that Congress has been in recess.
Reformers worried that opponents would pack town-hall meetings and conduct rallies, repeating the Tea Party actions that pushed healthcare reform off course in the summer of 2009, but that opposition hasn’t materialized. The Partnership for a New American Economy, a group that works for immigration reform, issued a statement saying, “What’s more important than what we have seen is what we haven’t seen. August was a resounding win for us.” Reformers say their confidence is based on the need that many Republicans see in engaging Hispanic voters as Republicans for future elections.
The reform advocates point to support for a path to citizenship from many House Republicans as proof of their progress. They are optimistic about passing reform legislation in spite of the uncertain political picture in Washington, where Republicans may focus on other issues this fall. One bipartisan plan is stalled because it still lacks the support of a majority of Republicans, which is what it will take to get an up-or-down vote on the floor of the House. Lawmakers in both parties claim they want a final bill approved by the end of the year.
While the current situation offers reason for hope, these delays are nevertheless agonizing for millions who have worked diligently to attain permanent residency or American citizenship. If you are dealing with any immigration issue, or if you have any questions regarding your immigration status (or the status of a loved one), you should speak immediately to an experienced immigration lawyer. A good immigration attorney will evaluate your individual case, explain your options to you, and guide you through every step of the process, working conscientiously for you, your family, and your rights, hopes, and dreams.