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PLNA e-News: Protecting Values In the Nation

Immigration Reform: Taking the Long View

Tuesday, November 26, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
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Immigration ReformWASHINGTON, D.C. - The "small window that is closing fast” for immigration reform slammed shut in November, at least for the time being.

When finger pointing began in mid-November over why immigration reform failed, not only between Democrats and Republicans, but also within Democratic and Republican circles, it was clear that the window had been "nailed shut,” as ANLA’s Craig Regelbrugge put it.

But, while the time for immigration reform may not be this year, or even next, the forces driving immigration reform in Congress are inexorable. It’s just a matter of when those forces will reach a tipping point.

Why is immigration reform inevitable? Several reasons.

Demographics - The Hispanic population in the U.S. is growing, both in raw numbers and proportionally. According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the Hispanic pollution has grown from 15 million to 52 million between 1980 and 2011.

Further, while the largest numbers of Hispanics are in the West and Florida, all regions of the country are seeing increases in their Hispanic populations. Hispanics are gaining political power in the fastest growing, most populous parts of the country.

Activism of the non-agriculture business community - Businesses are finding labor shortages at both ends of the workforce spectrum. Not only is agriculture finding it necessary to hire immigrant labor, but technology firms, like Facebook and Google, are experiencing shortages in tech workers as well.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has become a spokesman for technology firms, spending time in Washington lobbying for immigration reform. Zuckerberg calls immigration reform the "'biggest civil rights issue of our time.”

Public opinion - Public opinion is moving steadily toward comprehensive immigration reform. A series of recent national polls found that between 63% and 73% of those surveyed would support an immigration bill that included a pathway to citizenship for those here illegally.

Those in Congress can only ignore public opinion for so long.

We are approaching a tipping point, and when that time comes, things will move quickly. It may be next year, or as long as 2017, but the time for immigration reform will come certainly within the next five years.

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