The recent news surrounding immigration law proposals can be summed up briefly: awful and ongoing.
In recent weeks, two immigration bills were brought before the House. One sought to compromise between moderate and conservative House members, providing a path to citizenship for DACA recipients, along with $25 billion in border security — which would include a southern border wall.
The second, known as the Goodlatte bill after its creator Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), is a much more conservative bill that includes harsher immigration policies. These include:
- Fail to provide a permanent solution for DACA recipients
- Eliminate sponsorship for family members who are not spouses and minors
- Reduce available family and diversity visas by 315,000
- Criminalize immigrants who are unauthorized for more than 90 days to be in the U.S., regardless of whether crimes were committed or not
- Lessen protections for unaccompanied minors
- Restrict eligibility and increase difficulty to seek asylum in the U.S.
Unsurprisingly to members of the House — and the rest of the country — neither bill passed, leaving immigration law deadlocked.
At the same time these bills were presented, the Trump Administration’s zero tolerance policy garnered attention and sparked outrage as children were separated from their parents at the southern border and detained in facilities with cage-like enclosures. The policy resulted in the United Nations accusing the U.S. of human rights violations.
On June 20, President Trump signed an order stopping the separation of families. Six days later, a federal judge ordered that separated families must be reunified. The administration, however, missed the first July 10 deadline and is scrambling to meet the new extended deadline.
As the tensions surrounding the need for some kind of immigration reform grows, Washington remains deadlocked with a President who seems dissatisfied with nearly every measure presented. As the mid-term elections draw closer, one can hope that the tides on immigration laws turn. With Americans (and those overseas) mobilizing against inhumane immigration policies — and with the midterm elections approaching — it is possible that we are inching closer to striking a balance toward more comprehensive reform.