President Obama had said that he would issue an executive order on immigration after the midterm elections. Now is the moment.
Right after the elections, the president acknowledged his commitment and his willingness to make it happen. However, Republicans continue to show strong opposition to a comprehensive immigration reform that includes legalizing the undocumented.
The House of Representatives had two years to advance the bill that the Senate approved. The main argument not to do so was that the Republican majority did not trust Obama to implement the law appropriately. The arrival of children to the border was not a crucial factor, just another excuse; nevertheless, the decision had been made. House Speaker John Boehner seemed to have forgotten his own words when he blamed the minors for his inability and his caucus’ refusal to pass a reasonable immigration reform. Guarding the border is not a change in immigration law.
There is no guarantee that the next Senate will approve comprehensive reform. For example, one of the sponsors of the bill that the Senate passed, Marco Rubio, wants nothing to do with it. Also, the election emboldened the most conservative senators, who are demanding that the appointed attorney general finds an executive order on immigration unconstitutional. In addition, the reform’s opponents will be chairing legislative committees.
Nothing else can be expected from a Congress that refuses to recognize the fact that a majority of Americans want legalization for those who have been in the U.S. for years and who have made this country their home through hard work and honesty.
An executive order will have major political ramifications over the next two years and perhaps even for the 2016 presidential election. However, it is the right thing to do, both for the country’s economy and the millions of families living with the fear of deportation.
Even though an executive order is the only path left, it will unleash a political storm among the opposition. But that will happen anyway, whether because of immigration or another reason. Let it at least be for something that benefits our country