Those of us who still believe reform will happen, if not soon but inevitably, are likely to be derided as incurable optimists, much like the young boy in Ronald Reagan’s “pony in the manure” joke. As I explained, however, to Roy Maurer, Online News Manager/Editor for the Society of Human Resources Management (“Does Cantor Loss Signal the Demise of Immigration Reform?”):
Eric Cantor’s loss is not a death blow to immigration reform. The economic and moral imperative to resolve an issue of this magnitude is far larger than one individual’s loss in the primary to talk-media stoked anti-amnesty rantings. Changes will occur as leaders come to the fore — whether, for example, by Majority Leader Boehner with incremental action in the House or by President Obama through executive orders, or by others. The struggle for reform is not over; it may be slowed a bit, but the country’s prosperity and its social fabric depend on fixing this broken system.
- The economy is impaired when jobs that H-1B workers could create for American workers never materialize because of a skimpy quota enacted without economic justification in 1990 and when years-long green card quotas dissuade highly-coveted STEM workers from casting their lot with the U.S.;
- Immigration crimes (largely by those seeking reunification with family members) form the bulk of all federal prosecutions;
- U.S. citizen children are separated in ever larger numbers from their devoted, albeit undocumented, parents because of a removal policy meant to show Republicans that President Obama can be trusted to enforce current immigration laws — a strategy that hasn’t succeeded in winning Republican hearts and minds;
- The immigration detention apparatus, outsourced largely to for-profit companies, reveals shocking human rights abuses;
- A flood of immigrant children appear at our Southern border, creating a humanitarian crisis, because our foreign policy does not address the “push” factors in their countries of origin that compel their northern migration.