As expected, an extremely comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed in the Senate has gained little steam in the House of Representatives. Speaker of the House, John Boehner, has gone on record stating that the immigration bill is not a top priority. Boehner’s statements seem out of touch with millions of immigrants and U.S. Citizens, who would be directly affected by the new legislation.
The current law is particularly harsh when it comes to many children and young adults. Take, for example, a 21 year old girl who was brought to the United States by her mother, without documentation, when she was 3 years old. Her mother married a U.S. Citizen. She has assimilated fully into the American culture. All of her friends are U.S. Citizens. She considers herself an American and everyone that knows her considers her an American. However, she is not an American. In the eyes of the law, she is an illegal immigrant. She is subject to deportation to a country that she knows nothing about.
The new immigration bill will not solve all the problems, but there is a humanitarian effort to ameliorate some of these hardships on children and young adults who have very little, if any, culpability. The Dream Act, and provisions in the the proposed legislation, take a step in the direction of recognizing the difference between an adult who entered the country without authorization versus a child that was brought into the country without the ability to refuse.
The new law also recognizes the need to create a path to citizenship for those who have been here for many years and have fully assimilated. In turn, the law seeks to close off our borders from Mexico to limit the number of individuals that can enter without authorization. But with all laws, the implementation is not always true to design.
Read more about John Boehner’s stance on the immigration bill here.