I am actually sympathetic to President Obama’s desire to get some form of immigration reform passed in the upcoming Congressional lame duck session. Unfortunately, that is not likely to happen; immigration reform is going to need a significant amount of negotiation and work to get it through, and I just don’t think that there is enough time to go through the entire process during the course of a lame duck session of Congress.
That’s a shame. There are a great many people whose immigration status is questionable, whose lives are in turmoil as a process, and who desperately need some kind of comprehensive resolution regarding their status so that they will be able to take action, settle their problems, and get on with their lives. And certainly, the country as a whole needs immigration reform to resolve the status of illegal immigrants, while at the same time making sure that the country has the kind of border security one would expect a sovereign nation to have.
I would hope that in the next Congress, immigration reform will finally become a serious priority. We’re not going to be able to tell 12 million plus people that they need to leave the country, so some form of amnesty–yes, I wrote “amnesty”–is going to be needed. At the same time, we certainly want to cut down on illegal immigration, so reform needs to bring about security, in addition to dealing compassionately with people who risked, and continue to risk much to live in a country where they, and most importantly, their children, can have a better life.