President Obama has finally decided that, despite it being an election year, it is time to take on the bull of immigration reform, but he is going to need bipartisan support to do it. Why the change of heart? Originally, he said that the politicians would be too distracted concentrating on getting re-elected to do real work on getting immigration reform accomplished, but now that does not matter. Why?
The Arizona immigration law has brought so much pressure on the federal government to take action that they can no longer ignore it. The law is an understandable expression of the public's frustration with the government's failure to overhaul the immigration system, and the intention of the Arizona law was to try to get a handle on the state's immigration problems with direct action instead of waiting on the federal government that has let it go on for so long.
The law, which takes effect on July 29, 2010, requires police enforcing other laws to ask about a suspect's immigration status if there is reason to believe that the person was in the United States illegally. Under this law, it makes it a state crime to be here illegally. Some of the things that might bring a person’s citizenship status into question are: whether or not he/she is able to speak English and, if he/she is able, can speak without speaking in broken English, and does that person have a valid driver’s license or state identification?
One action that sometimes happens, and might be an indication that they are illegal immigrants, is they are involved in an automobile accident and offer to pay the other party for damages in cash on the spot rather than calling the police.
Many people think that this law will lead to racial profiling and violate a person’s civil liberties because most illegals in this country are of Hispanic heritage and have skin of color. The law's intent is to stop people from Mexico from crossing the U.S. – Mexico border illegally.
Many people are against a state taking on an issue that should be handled on the federal level. The opponents include activists, politicians, nations, celebrities, and organizations that believe the Arizona law is unconstitutional and violates civil liberties.
President Obama feels that the Arizona law is misguided, ill-conceived, divisive, and would put undue pressure on local police departments. He advocates a comprehensive approach that would insist the government, businesses, and illegal immigrants themselves live up to their responsibilities within the law, while the Republicans insist that the first step is to secure the border.
The Republicans feel that the President would be offering “amnesty” if he creates a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in the United States. Obama said that it would require immigrants to first acknowledge that they had broken the law, pay fines and back taxes, perform community service, and learn English. They do not agree.
If President Obama would break away from his amnesty plan and make a real commitment to border and interior security, then he might get the support he needs from the Republicans.