Tuesday, August 27, 2013

CIR WINNING

The American people are speaking and they’re saying “yes” to immigration reform. From both sides of the aisle, and all parts of the political spectrum, the left, the right, and the center are all coming out and registering their voices in support of immigration reform.  

Congressmen are actually listening as immigration advocates count 23 Republican members of Congress who have publicly come out in support of not just immigration reform for legal immigrants but a path to citizenship for current undocumented immigrants.

The Atlantic published a great article last week boldly exclaiming that Immigration reformers are winning in August. But despite the show of numbers for immigration reform, Roy Beck, executive director of the anti-immigration group NumbersUSA remains unconvinced that immigration reform will happen. He asserts that protests, rallies and shows of numbers do not necessarily correspond to votes in Congress. I have to say Beck is right – but only to a point. He is right when he says that our work is not done. Until a comprehensive immigration reform bill is signed into law, we can only be "winning" but we have not won. Even still, it is encouraging to see less and less people show up to anti-immigration rallies – like the sort Beck organizes, Turnout is so low that major anti-immigrant rallies have to be cut back and events have to be cancelled due to low participation. To this setback, Beck argues that his side does not need to come out in numbers in the same way as reform advocates since anti-reform advocates have the House in their pocket. Beck and his like minded supporters count on the House rejecting the Senate bill, which is the most immediate way comprehensive reform could be signed into law. 


The great thing about this fight for comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) is that even if the House rejects the Senate bill forthright – the call for CIR  is becoming so loud - the House cannot possibly disregard this call to action. In fact, the House is under increasing pressure to pass something immigration related as their first order of business, And like Beck, I have trust in the political process because at the end of the day, it is in their best interest as politicians to take note of the changing tide of public opinion - which is shown by show of numbers. After all, the same people most likely to be involved in the political process now are most likely going to stay involved during re-election time. 

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