In a recent interview with Fox News, Mario Diaz-Balart says that he believes that the next window for passing comprehensive immigration reform is early next year. If that window is missed, Diaz-Balart said, immigration reform will continue to be an elusive goal for an indefinite period of time.
After the next Congress, the political focus will shift to the 2016 presidential election and immigration reform will, once again, take a back seat. The Congressman spent months helping to craft a bill that could win support of both the Senate and the House that included a legal path to status for the millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States. The bill also included stricter border enforcement.
After the efforts and the chance of passage were clearly dead, he expressed his disappointment. He says that part of the problem with agreeing to passage of a bill is the distrust of President Obama by many in the House. Again, showing that the immigration reform issue is as partisan as any issue has been in the past.
Previously, the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill that the House never addressed or allowed to come to a vote. They, at the time, preferred a piece-meal approach with border security being initiated first before any immigration benefits were provided to the undocumented.
While other hardline opponents of immigration reform see the only solution as “self-deportation” or enforced deportation, Diaz-Balart realizes that deporting over 11 million undocumented immigrants is not realistic.
The next big thing in immigration reform is whether President Obama will, in fact, use his executive authority after the November mid-term elections to enact some form of change in the immigration laws of this country or some policy guidelines that will allow the undocumented to come out of the shadows and be productive members of society without fear of being placed in removal proceedings and separated from their families.