Splitting Hairs on Immigration Reform is Not a Good Idea
Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) September 14, 2012 – Allowing Dreamers to be bumped to the end of the deportation line and to vote does not solve the long-term problem.
One of the things you have to love about America is our ability to compromise. Fair is fair, and we love to get something by negotiating and bargaining until both parties are happy with the outcome. “However, there are some things that you just can’t split hairs on – immigration reform is one of them. It is either handled, or it is not. Any halfway measure simply serves to muck up the greater process,” said Larry S. Rifkin, a Miami immigration lawyer and managing partner at Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, with law offices in Miami, Florida and Orlando, Florida.
It mucks up the process because the one part of immigration reform being worked on, more or less, is a smaller part of the larger picture. Once you start messing with the smaller parts, the grand view then changes and not always for the better. In this instance, the intentions and short-term view for the smaller change—allowing Dreamers to be bumped to the end of the deportation line and to vote—does nothing to solve the long-term problem.
What happens once the election is over and all the deferred Dreamers are still out hanging in the wind? “No one has an answer to that question, and really, in the greater scheme of things, there is no answer to the question, as the resolution of their status is largely dependent on how the immigration system, in its entirety, is revamped,” pointed out Rifkin. “To date, the process has been stalled so many times, many are certain it is dead, and they may well be right.”
Even if it is not dead, if re-elected, Obama would still only have four years to change things. He has already had four years to do that, and look what didn’t happen. The problem lies in the fact that the political parties have two different points of view, two different motivations and are working, or not working, towards two different outcomes. How those two different points of view will ever be merged may remain a mystery for a long time to come. Having said that, immigration reform will then be right in the middle and still stalled.
Bargaining on the backs of Dreamers is a crafty way to potentially garner more of the Latino vote, but what are the long-term ramifications of deferring deportation? If this issue is not dealt with in the context of overhauling the whole system, you can bet the farm that at some point the Dreamers will be booted out of the country, as per the current practice of this government.
A grand negotiation would only be grand if the two sides actually believed in what they were negotiating. Do the two sides ostensibly working on immigration reform believe in what they are negotiating? That is the million dollar question, and frankly, given the government’s actions, and ignoring their rhetoric, it’s doubtful they believe in what they are doing. And so here we are as a nation, right back at square one.
Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, P.A.
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