Pause, Repeat: “Let’s get immigration reform done this year.”

By Taylor Larson

My blog tonight was truly inspired by the words of Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR): “If you’re traveling to California [from D.C.] and end up in Missouri, that’s compromise. If your feet are wet and the people around you are speaking French, that’s losing.” Norquist spoke to us Tuesday morning in a lecture titled “The Federal Budget- Financing the American Dream.”

This morning, however, students had the pleasure of hearing from Mark Krikorian, executive director for the Center for Immigration Studies. Krikorian was tasked with discussing immigration, and he began by explaining the three sides that divide the issue: Liberals, he said, want amnesty and easier ways to gain legal status. Libertarians want to eliminate government involvement and move to unlimited immigration. Conservatives want increased law enforcement and to lower the number of people entering the country.

To assume that an attempt at compromise is futile would not be an understatement.

He continued by explaining that it wasn’t just ideology that keeps these factions from agreeing on a bipartisan solution; comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) is an “Obama win,” something the conservatives in Congress just don’t want to succumb to.

Photo from Creative Commons

Photo from Creative Commons

The President’s Move: President Obama issued the Executive Actions on Immigration, calling for members of Congress to compromise and overturn him as soon as they were ready to compromise and play nice.

Congress’ Rebuttal: Congress returned the favor by instituting the infamous cromnibus, which keeps all facets of government in operation with funding until September, except those that deal with immigration. (Funding for these organizations ends in early spring, just in time for the 114th Congress to craft a new immigration bill, not accidentally.)

At this point, both Republicans and Democrats feel that their feet are wet, but how do we reach compromise on such a polarized issue? Is it even possible?


Photo from Creative Commons

Undoubtedly, according to both Norquist and Krikorian, the new Republican-controlled Congress will pass conservative legislation to combat immigration issues and overturn the executive order. President Obama will consequently use his veto power on any bill that doesn’t include a pathway to citizenship for those illegal immigrants already living in this country, a piece of our immigration problem liberals aren’t willing to let go.

At this point, are we better off just learning to speak French?

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