The momentum of President Obama’s resounding victory in 2012 November’s election came with a big push from the Latinos and other minority groups catapulting the immigration policy to the top of Washington’s agenda in 2013. The Obama administration has a huge task taking into consideration the sensitive issue of opening doors to immigrants at a time when unemployment levels are high.
During the inauguration ceremony Obama stated in his speech, “ Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity, until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country”.
The Obama administration wants immigrants who overstayed their visas or crossed the border illegally to prove they have resided in the country for several years, have not committed any crimes and will pay any owed back taxes in exchange, they’ll receive temporary legal status that could lead to citizenship in about 15 years.
The US Senate Majority leader Harry Reid told the Las Vegas Sun that without a pathway to citizenship then “ no bill”, this is a potential problem in the Republican- controlled House, where members have expressed reservations about letting 11 million illegal immigrants who could benefit from an immigration reform bill become citizens.
Janet Napolitano, the Homeland Security Secretary who also worked at the Immigration and Border Enforcement as the US Attorney for Arizona 20 years ago being interviewed by Ray Suarez on PBS News Hour commented on the role that the department of Homeland Security on the Immigration Reform. In her 20 years she has seen many changes one of which is the decrease in illegal immigrants number down to the numbers they were 40 years ago. She stated that the Mexican economy is coming up and are willing to work with US to patrol their northern border, she also stated that in the last year or two the department of Homeland Security has deported thousands of illegal immigrants 90% of whom had criminal violations.
Janet Napolitano Discusses Immigration Agenda - YouTube. (n.d.). YouTube. Retrieved January
24, 2013, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx_eBy8qHF4
Newton, L. (2008). Illegal, alien, or immigrant: the politics of immigration reform. New York:
New York University Press.