Published:  May 11, 2011

With decisive action leading to Bin Laden’s capture and killing and an approval rating at 60%, President Obama is walking with a swagger.  And with that swagger and momentum, there is no better time to start conquering some of the obstacles that may present themselves come November, 2012.  One of those obstacles might be the vote of Americans of Hispanic roots, a constituency that has grown impatient with the Obama administration’s failure to get comprehensive immigration reform enacted.  Mind you, the failure to pass legislation is assuredly not Obama’s fault – given today’s volatile and divisive political climate.  Nevertheless, Obama still must give this constituency the impression that the strongest of efforts toward reform are being extended.  That brings us to May 10, 2011, when President Obama, while delivering his first speech at the US/Mexico border, once again seized the moment to use the power of the Presidency to call on Congress to pass legislation leading to Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

According to President Obama, his administration has satisfied the concerns of his political opponents by doubling our Border Patrol presence on our border with Mexico, investing sizable sums in border security technology and conducting an unprecedented level of interior immigration related enforcement and prosecutions.  Nevertheless, according to the President, his Republican opponents keep “mov(ing) the goal posts on us”  and always having a pretext to reject such legislation because of, per the Republican mantra, “the President’s failure to secure the border.”    At
the end of the day, it seems the Republicans are betting on the American public’s anger about the economy to steer the debate on immigration reform and cause its demise.  Such an approach of course ignores the reality that the estimated 12 million undocumented who would benefit from reform will indeed remain in the U.S. no matter what, and until forcibly removed – having already made the choice that life in the U.S. without status is better than life can ever be in their home country.  No doubt, the debate this time will be no less political than earlier go arounds, especially as numerous states, like Arizona, have gotten into the immigration enforcement and legislation business – a role traditionally taken on by the federal government per the US Constitution.

Copyright © 2011, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois