After years of inaction, the chances of immigration reform taking place on Capitol Hill are finally looking up. John Boehner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, has indicated that he would be in favor of separate, limited reforms to the nation’s immigration system, which President Obama would most likely sign into law despite his preference for a more comprehensive package.
The potential pivot on the issue by Boehner is likely because he recognizes that the electorate is an increasingly diverse one, something that the Republican Party badly needs to understand before the 2016 Presidential election, if not prior to this year’s mid-terms. Many high ranking Republicans believe that immigration reform is key to winning votes from the Latino community, the great majority of which voted for Obama back in 2012.
Immigration reform is also likely to have an impact on the US economy, according to Jim Taylor, an economics professor at Central Michigan University. “While immigrants account for only around 13 percent of the US population, around 20 percent of small businesses are owned by immigrants,” Taylor notes. “If you think about it, immigrants are not a random selection of people from other nations. Instead, they represent risk-takers and go-getters. It takes a lot of courage and guile to completely abandon your old life and try to start anew half a world away.”
Taylor adds that when people talk about stopping immigration to the United States, they are suggesting that the nation turns its back on the very thing that made the country great in the first place.