2006 Immigration Trend 4/4

Posted on October 04, 2006 by Warren Wen | Category: Immigration

Temporary Setback in Immigration Reform: Is President Bush the Biggest Loser?

In the past few weeks, we have briefly analyzed the current state of immigration reform.  Considering the upcoming election in November and other added reasons, we have concluded that it would be very unlikely that any new immigration relieves would pass in the Congress this year.  Then, who would be most affected by this fact?

First of all, the immigrants who have been hoping for the urgent immigration reform may be the most disappointed by this fact.  As long as the Congress cannot solve the problem of the quota shortage and of the complex immigration procedures, most of legal immigrants would have to deal with a long waiting period in terms of their immigration process.  In the meantime, the illegal immigrants who cannot adjust their status legally under the current immigration law would need to ready themselves for more serious situations. Without any chance to adjust their status legally in the U.S., illegal aliens would have to continue to live in fear.  Furthermore, with the Federal government tightening the enforcement of immigration law, the situation is more likely to get worse.

Second, the employers, especially those employers who have hired illegal immigrants would be unfavorably affected by this fact as well.  Currently, it is not easy for the employers to find suitable workers in the U.S. because the labor shortage in the agriculture, construction and other industries is so severe.  Thus, the employers may have no other ways but to hire illegal immigrants to keep the business going even though they are well aware that it is violating the law.  In order to get out of this dilemma, they would have to push the Congress for the immigration reform.   Nonetheless, it seems like this will turn out to be a disappointing year for employers as well.

Another possible loser would be the Republicans.  Their anti-immigration reform strategy may help them in the upcoming November election, but it may not be so favorable in their long term interest.  In the past, most of the hard core supporters of the Republicans were conservatives from the South and the Southwest.  They held the position of anti-immigrant and supported the restrictive bills passed by the House.  In order to keep getting their support from those supporters, the Republican candidates would have to show that they are tough on national security and the immigration issues.  But, such actions could bring a serious consequence for the Republicans in the future, just as what happened to the Republicans in California 12 years ago.  Both President Bush and other national leaders in the Republican Party realize this danger and are very worried.  In addition, there has been a rapid growth in the minority population in the U.S. lately, especially in Hispanics.  And, the Hispanics has been showing more significant influence on the U.S. politics. The resentment felt by the Hispanic community by the short term anti-immigrant policy may cause the Republicans to lose the support from these Hispanics in the future.

Finally, it is said that President Bush may be the biggest loser for failing the immigration reform.  Although President Bush’s second term is almost up, both his foreign and domestic policies have not been able to win a wide support among people.  On one hand, the Iraq War is getting less and less popular, and on the other hand, his Guest Worker Program is not getting much supports from the Republicans either.  Furthermore, as the mid-term election is approaching, more Republican candidates seem to prefer to keep a distance from him; some of them are even trying to get the voters’ support by supporting the anti-Bush immigration policy agenda.

To make the matters worse, it would be more difficult for President Bush to push his agendas through the House, if the Republicans won the election and kept its control of both the House and the Senate with their anti-Bush immigration agenda.  On the other hand, the Democrats may initiate the impeachment against President Bush in his remaining terms if the Republicans lost control of either the House or the Senate in the election.  This is probably why President Bush is considered the biggest loser in relation to his failure to push the immigration reform through the House.

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