2008 Immigration Trend 2/2

Posted on January 27, 2008 by Warren Wen | Category: Immigration

US Immigration Trend in 2008 2/2

In the previous article we mentioned that in order to have a correct analysis of the US immigration trend, we need to have an overall understanding of the US economy and its politics.  It is very unlikely that the US can avoid a recession in 2008, so the current situation of the economy will have a negative impact on the immigration reform and the living condition of immigrants.

Different from the depressingly low temperatures of the US economy, the atmosphere of US politics is heated because of the coming presidential election.  Though it is just the beginning of the year, primary elections for presidential nominees in both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party have been going on with a lot of noise and attention.  At this point, there are no clear winners for the nominations of both parties, and the money needed to stay alive in the race is staggering, not to mention winning the nomination.  Quite opposite to the depressing economic situation, it is reported that the money that will be spent on the presidential election this year will be the highest in the history.

Although 2008 will be an exciting year politically because of the presidential election, in terms of immigration reform this year is very unlikely to provide any encouragement for the immigrant community.  Last year when the Immigration Reform Act failed to pass in the Senate, experts declared with near certainty that there will be no breakthrough in the immigration reform before the presidential election is completed for the reasons that follow below.

First, since the US immigration system is broken, President Bush planned to make fundamental changes to the US immigration system, but lacked the influence to push it through.  At the beginning of his second tenure, President Bush clarified that in the arena of domestic affairs, the following two things are on his priority list: one is to reform the US Social Security system, and the other is to overhaul the US immigration system.  Regarding the first, the plan was stalled after several initial proposals because the many parties involved had conflicting interests.  As for the second priority, President Bush’s rating of approval kept dropping because of the failure of the Iraq War and its ever growing unpopularity.  As a result, President Bush’s political capital and influence dropped very quickly and he has lost the ability to push this through the US legislature.  Because of the lack of influence of President Bush (even in his own party) and election concerns, the Republicans in Congress opposed his immigration policy.  Not long after he began his second term, President Bush became a “lame duck”.

Second, due to the present economic and political situation, immigration issues such as the immigration reform have become a hot potato, or even a poison pill.  Neither the Republican candidates nor the Democratic Party have put this issue on the priority list for their campaigns.  In fact, almost all the candidates try their best to avoid this issue.

Under the present political situation, 2008 will be a tough year for the immigration reform and immigrant community of the US for the above mentioned reasons,  Let us hope that 2009 will be a better year.

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