Calls For Comprehensive Immigration Reform Unanswered In 2013
To the dismay of advocates across the country, after the U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill earlier this year, the U.S. House of Representatives never voted on the reform bill. Many Democratic members of Congress have urged President Obama to use his authority to exercise prosecutorial discretion and temporarily halt deportations.
Some background information about the current state of immigration reform includes:
- During Obama’s presidency, deportations have substantially increased. In 2012, 410,000 people were deported, whereas in 2001, there were 116,000 deportations.
- According to CNN, however, the focus has shifted to deporting criminals and more egregious immigration violators, rather than hardworking immigrants.
- The House of Representatives has pushed back a vote on immigration reform until 2014.
- However, many are skeptical as to whether immigration reform can be accomplished in 2014, when midterm elections are on the horizon. The Speaker of the House, John Boehner, has asserted that his colleagues are working on smaller immigration bills, rather than a single comprehensive one.
The most contentious aspect of immigration reform is developing a fair and ethical solution for the approximately 12 million illegal and undocumented immigrants currently in the United States. Another point of contention is the number of H-1B visas allowed each fiscal year. Many companies assert that these visas are essential for filling positions in the technology sector, due to a shortage of U.S. workers with the necessary skills.
As the landscape of immigration laws change, it is important to consult an experienced Washington, DC immigration law attorney who will provide effective representation.