After all the hoopla, it appears that immigration reform is going to die a quiet death. If so, I’ve mixed feelings. It’s too bad that there won’t be any progress on resolving this very divisive issue. On the other hand, the compromise which had been struck didn’t seem much of an improvement, either. I was glad that it did take the compassionate path in dealing with the currently illegal immigrants. If you want to call it amnesty, so be it. No purpose would be served by “getting tough” on the people just trying to make a better life for their families—even if there were any practical method by which to have them all rounded up and deported or jailed. It may not be “fair,” but we serve our nation better by putting these people on the path to legal status and (should they want it) citizenship.
On the other hand, I was hardly impressed by the proposed changes which appear to give precedence to prospective immigrants with higher education and skills. This emphasis would do nothing to stem the tide of illegal immigrants. Most illegal immigrants come to the U.S. for the opportunity to make something of themselves—something their lack of education and high-level skills prevent them from doing in their home countries. Why prioritize highly-skilled workers, who already have an opportunity for success in their home nations? This change is simply a gift to big business, one which could potentially depress salaries and benefits for the high-end job market in the U.S. as the employment pool increases.
Hopefully the Senate will try again to improve our immigration laws, this time with the goal of better serving the compassionate and honorable principles which the Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform have so capably articulated.