Are the Stars Aligned for Immigration Services Reform in 2013?
In 2013, immigration services are likely to undergo some major changes. Although the changes may not take effect for several years, the wheels will likely begin turning soon. In 2012, the federal government spent $18 billion on immigration enforcement – an amount that outstrips the money spent on the other main criminal law enforcement organizations combined. The U.S. Government is taking immigration seriously, so things are looking good for reform and changes in 2013.
In a battleground poll run by Politico and George Washington University, 62 percent of respondents said that they would like to see immigration reform that includes an earned path to citizenship for illegal or undocumented immigrants. Of those polled, 77 percent are in favor of letting the children of these immigrants earn permanent residency if they obtain a college degree or join the military. The results of this polls show that the American people are increasingly ready for immigration services reform.
But is the government ready?
David Plouffe, Senior Adviser for the White House, confirms that “the stars are aligned” for legislation that would create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and increase border security. There may even be a consensus between political parties on immigration reform, as the Politico poll found that more Republicans support a path to citizenship than not, and the same goes for Democrats.
Harmony, however, may not be so easy to achieve in Congress, even after Obama has declared that immigration reform will be one of his priorities during his second term. Plouffe stressed that the American people would play a key role in pressuring Congress to work together and act. And there are some powerful players getting involved.
Laurene Powell Jobs is the widow of late Apple founder Steve Jobs and longstanding supporter of immigration services reform, specifically the DREAM Act that provides undocumented young people with the chance to achieve citizenship. She has now joined forces with Davis Guggenheim, a prestigious documentary filmmaker. They plan to set up a web-based project where these immigrants can record and upload their stories. The project will show how the DREAM Act, if passed, would benefit both young people and the nation.