Obama and the Immigration Reform

1 January 2017

“Obama set out to transform the US and her society during his presidency, but this is proving ever more difficult. ” Obama had taken office in 2009 with the promise of introducing an immigration reform. He wanted to include a right of residence for immigrants who came as children of illegal immigrants to the United States. It is the third major project in his first term after the reform of health insurance and financial supervision. Illegal immigration is one of the most urgent domestic problems in the U. S. a reform could be one of the riskiest projects. Everyone was talking about the reform, shortly before the effective date of SB 1070 in Arizona which was the hardest immigration law of the country. This law included tough measures against immigrants. It stipulated, for example that the police officers had to control every person where they suspected they may find illegal immigrants. Even if someone from a completely different reason, for example for a traffic offense has contact with the police, his immigration status must be checked.

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The wearing of this document is obligatory although it is not actually prescribed in the United States. Obama had therefore criticized the law. The Federal Justice Department complained about it and the Senate worked out a draft for a federal law. Everyone agreed that something must be done but the nation was divided. The Democrats wanted to allow the citizenship for illegal immigrants under certain conditions but the Republicans denounced these plans as “mass amnesty” and requested for a strengthening of border security and tough measures against illegal immigrants.

In 2010 Obama’s immigration reform failed because only 55 politicians voted in the Senate. 60 votes were needed almost all Republicans voted against it. In May 2011 Obama took a new approach by making a speech in El Paso. On the one hand, he emphasized his hardness at the border security to reassure conservative Whites. He had increased to 20,000 men to the border security and under him deported estimated 400,000 illegal immigrants, he said. On the other hand, he campaigned with a view to the Latino voters for a more liberal immigration law.

The 50 million Latinos living legally in the United States are the largest and fastest-growing minority and an important group of voters, the Republicans need to take into consideration. However, this group contributed significantly Obama’s election victory. Moreover Obama stressed the economic benefits of immigration reform which is an “economic necessity”. The illegal employment could be contained if millions of immigrants would get legal residency status. He also wants to make it easier for foreign students after graduation to stay in the country and to get work. On the world market, we need all the skills that we can get,” said Obama and referred to the various waves of immigration in history which has made the country “stronger and more prosperous”. But the administration of Barack Obama is stricter than the previous administration under George W. Bush against illegal immigration. More than 396 000 people were deported in the past twelve months more than ever before. Washington stressed that it was focusing on the increased deportations of illegal immigrants among the law-breakers rather than immigrants living inconspicuously.

More than half of those which had been deported are convicted criminals. The proportion was almost twice as high as two years ago. One fifth of the deportees had failed immigration rules again. All in all Obama could not really keep his campaign promise. Many people are angry and disappointed about it. In 2008 Latinos contributed Obama’s election victory. So in the election 2012 Obama must try to win the trust of Latinos again, otherwise it might be difficult for Obama to be re-elected.

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