Though immigrant communities wait with bated breath and grow faint, Congress and the Obama administration have found themselves in a stalemate. In the face of mid-term elections, Congressional Republicans are unable to determine if immigration reform suits their individual or collective needs. Speaker John Boehner has been clear that Republicans will not consider the issue this year.
Meanwhile the President faces greater pressure to act administratively in order to slow down the tide of individuals facing deportation. More than 520,000 young people, for example, have received deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and they are putting pressure on the president to expand the protections afforded under that program. Unfortunately, executive action is just as likely to work against the Democratic Party and immigration advocates as it is to benefit them. As one national expert, Marshall Fitz, has explained: “The more [Obama] does, the less likely we are to get legislation, which is the goal of both the White House and those on the outside pushing for an end to deportations.”
Many agree that legislative action is the only real solution, but talk of legislation is at most hypothetical. While both the Senate and the House of Representatives have spent countless hours considering potential legislation, there is no meaningful reform in sight. On the contrary, a hearing has been scheduled by Republican members of the House Judicial Committee that has been titled, “Enforcing the President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws.” Rather than adjust our ailing immigration laws, the House Republicans are more concerned than ever that it be enforced.