Government Shutdown Standing in the Way of Immigration Reform

By: Joesph Squadroni
Blog Category: Immigration Reform

Advocates of getting a comprehensive immigration reform billed passed in the House of Representatives in 2013 saw their hopes dashed because of the government shutdown.  Prior to the shutdown, reform of the nation’s immigration laws seemed promising with more and more House Republicans advancing pro-reform positions and turning mere rhetoric into action.  That momentum has since died down however, as attention turned toward raising the debt ceiling and ending the shutdown.

Aside from the government shutdown, another issue preventing a reform bill from passing the House is the inclusion of an amnesty provision. Under this provision, current illegal immigrants would be provided a pathway to becoming a citizen—something to which many challengers to immigration reform are diametrically opposed.[1]  Whatever the reasons may be for the delay in getting immigration reform passed, the consequences of not doing so remain the same.  This year is an election year for many members of Congress, and the longer it takes to reform immigration laws, the worse those running for reelection will fare in the eyes of the Latino community—the “fastest growing slice of the electorate.”[2]  On a more human level, an estimated 1,120 undocumented persons are deported from the country each day.[3]  Many of these people have spent the bulk of their lives in this country, raising families here, and would benefit greatly from immigration reform.  Each day this issue goes unresolved is another day they risk deportation.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.


[1] Laura Matthews, 2013 Immigration Reform: Another Casualty of Government Shutdown?, International Business Times , (Oct. 9, 2013), http://www.ibtimes.com/2013-immigration-reform-another-casualty-government-shutdown-1421442.

[2] Pili Tobar, By the Numbers: Key Immigration-Related Promises & Consequences, America’s Voice, (Oct. 10, 2013), http://americasvoiceonline.org/blog/by-the-numbers-key-immigration-related-promises-consequences/.

[3] Id.

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