Immigration reform used to be considered a third rail issue that political candidates would not touch, but after last November, this view has changed. Obama won 71 percent of the Latino vote in the last election, which may have been helped in part by the Obama administration’s new program of Deferred Action for Childhood Rivals (DACA), which was announced just months prior to election day.
Since then, President Obama, House Speaker Boehner, as well as other leaders have announced plans to move toward some sort of immigration reform this year. It is believed that Obama and Democrats in the Senate may have an immigration reform plan ready hopefully as soon as April 2013. Other reports say we could see a bill passed as early as June. It is also rumored that some Republicans may be working on their own kind of bipartisan immigration bill as well.
We could see immigration reform that would make it easier to obtain green cards, an increase in work visa numbers, and possibly a guest-worker program. There has also been talk that Congress may produce a bill that would establish a path to citizenship for the projected 11 million undocumented immigrants living here in the United States.
Comprehensive immigration reform may have been considered too controversial for candidates to risk taking a stand on in the recent past, but now it seems it has become a political necessity. The last election may have been the game changer needed to finally achieve true reform.