With thousands of undocumented immigrants from Central America ‒ many of them unaccompanied minors ‒ continuing to pour across the border to the United States, immigration experts seem to have formed a consensus opinion that efforts for immigration reform are over; however, there are some federal lawmakers who do not agree with this pessimistic view.
“I’m cautiously optimistic that immigration reform can still pass the House this year,” claims Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. “Although there are many who say immigration reform is a long shot, I remind them that many difficult bills have passed with hurdles that seemed insurmountable.”
Even if Congress did approve the same bill for comprehensive immigration reform that was given approval by the Senate in 2013, this still might not be enough to benefit the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living and working in the United States or the hundreds of thousands of new unauthorized visitors who have arrived since the legislation’s cut-off date.
Under the Senate bill, which is the bill that the great majority of immigration activists want to be adopted by the House of Representatives, no more than nine million illegal immigrants who were in the United States as of 31st December 2011 would be able to stay.
The realization that the broken system might not be fixed by such reform has led many to suggest that President Obama should grant large numbers of the undocumented immigrants legal status by using his executive powers, regardless of whether Congress acts.