Immigration reform may be the lasting legacy of President Obama or it could be his biggest mistake. The immigration reform will certainly have far-reaching consequences; there is no doubt about that. What’s still being speculated upon and being argued is the nature of the consequences. There is no denying that the immigration reform pros and cons do make compelling arguments in favor and against the policy change. However, the advantages and disadvantages would weigh differently depending on who you are, what you are and how things will change for you.
There are some immigration reform pros and cons for the Democrats and Republicans; there are some for the present citizens and some for those who would be benefited directly by the policy change. Here is a brief account of the various immigration reform pros and cons, looked at from an objective perspective.
1. There are about eleven million immigrants in the country today, who are not documented or whose records are not available in official books. Of this, about two third is Hispanic. It must be remembered that Obama raced to his second term in office riding on a staggering 70% and more votes among Latinos. The immigration reform can be a thank you gesture from the perspective of many but the Hispanic community sees it as a necessity.
2. The immigration reform may open the floodgates later but right away it would certainly make some five million families be safe and assured of their loved ones being with them in the country. These families have mixed status and they stand to lose their loved ones who could be sent away. The immigration reform rightly addresses this problem.
3. There has been a longstanding tradition in America that has upheld the need to have families together and not segregated or disintegrated. This unsaid belief which is agreed upon by all is being reinforced with the immigration reform and when the president of the White House makes this argument, it would be difficult for anyone to refute.
4. There are some advantages for the Obama administration or the Democrats as well. Given the execution of the reform, the Latinos or the Hispanic community would be satiated with Obama and would likely shower the Democrat presidential candidate with votes. Many Democrats are also hoping for the same. Whoever are the next presidential hopefuls among the democrats, they all stand to gain from Obama’s reform. This also works as a distinct disadvantage of the Republicans who either choose to alienate themselves further from the Hispanic community or they can lose their bastions or conventional vote base.
5. There are certain legalities of the immigration reform which cannot be disputed. From the federal government having the right to change the policy on immigration and laws applicable to immigrants to actually attending to the claims of many undocumented immigrants who have the most legit claims according to law, many experts have pointed out that Obama is walking a path that is legally safe.
1. Obama has a history of coming up with grand plans and then failing miserably with the execution of the plans. In the years he has been in office, he has come up with many ideas, some of which were very noble and also helpful for the masses. But the execution of those policies did not get perfected long after they were launched on the ground. Obama is also particularly incapable of driving the point home. Whether it was the Affordable Care Act or the immigration reform now, Obama has struggled to explain things to everyone. Regardless of the intention or the consequence of the immigration reform, most people don’t know how things will shape up on the ground. No one knows how the millions of background checks will be done. No one knows what kind of systems will have to be put in place and how those systems would get funded. These kinds of fallout’s are very natural and yet Obama is failing to shed light on all these aspects.
2. The failure to address these aspects has lead many people to stop short of supporting the immigration reform. Most people are against it. Many people see a little overreach by the president in this regard and that is being highlighted as a wrong precedent. Presidential overreach is not uncommon in American history and in most cases the consequences have been unpleasant. Many feel that this may too go down the unpleasant lane.
3. The opposition or the Republicans have not been able to put their act together. That may have fueled the hope of Democrats that the reform can be put in place. The Democrats believe that the Republicans will not want to alienate the minority communities further. But if the GOP were to bite the bullet and cause a government shutdown, then that would be a mess just before the elections, which the democrats would surely not want and Americans too will want to avert.