05.06.10

President calls for Congress to address Immigration Reform

Posted in State and Federal Politics at 1:07 pm by Moorcat

One of the hot topics in the wake of the passage of the Health Care Bill has been how to address illegal Immigration in the US. This topic was kind of put on the back burner for a while while Congress Critters fought over whether to address Finance Reform or some other issue, but Arizona decided to light a fire that only Congress can answer.

Arizona passed a very controversial and sweeping law to address the illegal immigration issue in thier state. As it was originally written, it required law enforcement officers to ask for documentation when there was reasonable suspicion that the person was an illegal. Since “reasonable suspicion” could mean a lot of things when talking about deciding whether a person was an illegal, it was feared by many people that this law would lead to racial profiling and be a violation of a person constitutional rights.

Arizona has since modified the law to only require a law enforcement officer to ask for documentation when the person is being questioned in relation to something else – a traffic stop, another possible violation of the law, or even a noise complaint in violation of a city or local ordinance.

Protest for this law has been wide and varied across the US. A couple of city mayors have put a “ban” on visiting Arizona for thier employees, many groups are calling for boycott of the state and even the Arizona Pro Basketball team is wearing jerseys with the team name in Spanish to show support for the state’s latino population in protest to the new law.

Those that support the new law are almost universal in thier criticism of the lack of movement on this issue at the Federal Level. Arizona has seen a lot of violence at the border in recent months and many in Arizona are angry at what they perceive to be an “epic” problem with illegals in thier state. Many have expressed a deep contempt that the current (and previous) Administration and Congresses haven’t already addressed the issue.

With midterm elections coming up this year, a number of Congress Critters have expressed a reluctance to address the issue of Illegal immigration. President Obama made the statement that he felt there wasn’t the “will” to address the issue in light of the elections and the contentions over the Health Care Bill.

At a celebration being held at the White House today, President Obama called upon Congress “to work on comprehensive immigration reform this year”. The question will be whether Congress will rise to the task.

It is no surprise that Illegal immigration and immigration reform are scary issues for Congress. The majority of American Voters see the Illegal immigration as an important issue (at least in every poll taken over the last six years) but they are divided in what they think should be done about it. Further, in the wake of the massive Health Care Reform Bill passed earlier this year, Congress has to step very lightly in passing anything that will cost the American Taxpayers any more money. If there is an issue even more universally consistant right now than the desire for immigration reform, it would be that Americans are concerned that the Federal Government is spending too much money.

Many lawmakers see immigration reform as a “no win” situation. If they work for stronger penalties for illegal caught in the country (mass deportation being the strongest), they piss off the minority communities and given that the latin vote is the single fastest growing voting block in the US, many are not willing to take that route. On the other hand, if they vote to give illegals a route to citizenship (amnesty), they end up pissing off the many conservatives that believe that all illegals should be deported.

About the only things the majority seems to agree on is that the borders into the US have to be secured before anything can be done about the illegal already in the country. Unfortunately, that will not be cheap or easy to do.

Moorcat

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