Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Congress Election Results and Direction of Immigration Reform

Next Congress and the White House will practically see no changes: The second term President Obama in the White House, the Democratic majority Senate in the upper chamber of the federal legislature, and the Republican majority House in the lower chamber of the legislature. 

Unlike the first term, however, the President is likely to push very aggressively comprehensive immigration reform for two reasons: Firstly, this is a sort of mandate imposed on him in this election. Secondly, he will have nothing to lose from being aggressive because this is the last term he can run for the White House. 

What does this mean to the direction of immigration reform? Piecemeal immigration reforms, particularly employment-based immigration reform, are likely to face a steep uphill battle. Why? For the comprehensive immigration reform forces, piecemeal immigration reform legislation will weaken the chances for comprehensive immigration reform legislation. 

The results of this election have reinforced such dynamics. Advocates of employment-based piecemeal immigration reform should come to grips with the political reality and learn to work within the dynamics by realizing importance of negotiation and compromise rather than antagonizing other forces.

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