You can’t peruse the cover of a newspaper, magazine or news related Internet feed without stumbling upon some article or another about Obamacare and how it may or may not shut down the government, but what you don’t see in the headlines is how the controversial Affordable Care Act is affecting immigration reform in the United States. Certainly healthcare is a big issue for the many uninsured citizens in the U.S., but it is not the only tough or troublesome issue that the country faces. Millions of United States Citizens, millions of illegal aliens and potentially future U.S. citizens are left struggling with the mire that is known as immigration law in this country. It is high time for reform, and the government knows this, but the defunding of Obamacare and the threat of a government shutdown is diverting attention, time and resources from an equally important issue to the United States and its citizens, immigration reform.
The swelling momentum behind immigration reform that propelled President Obama to create and pass a law allowing underage immigrants to be legalized slightly more than a year ago and that ignited Marco Rubio, a Republican Florida Senator, to initiate a comprehensive immigration reform law has all but died in the House and Senate. During election season, both parties preached immigration reform, appealing to millions of immigrants and naturalized U.S. voters, but now that voting season is over, so is the push for promised immigration reform. The many immigrants fighting the immigration reform are once again playing Charlie Brown to the politicians Lucy, having the ball pulled away from them one more time.
Why this time?
The possible impending shutdown of the United States government, as the GOP threatens to cut funding to Obamacare, and the President threatens to simply shut the government down until a budget deal can be made. The only issue on the minds of the federal government at this time is the issue of getting paid. Immigration reform isn’t even on the table at the moment. Even with a pro-immigration president and a strong leader across the aisle in Rubio, the Democrats and the Republicans cannot get over partisanship and get out of their own way to once and for all settle an issue that plagues both parties, immigration reform.
It is a sad state of affairs, that an issue that both parties recognize as a serious problem, that an issue that states as influential as California, Texas, Florida and Arizona are pleading for help with, has been put so far on the back burner that it is ice cold, and it was a red hot issue mere months ago. The fact is, this time Obamacare has killed or at least severely damaged recent serious efforts to initiate serious, much needed immigration reform in the United States. Many hopeful citizens and potential citizens are once again locked in limbo, thanks to a system that simply uses them during election season and then forgets them once elections are over. Whether or not there is a government shutdown, and whether or not Obamacare is fully funded or defunded, immigration reform needs to be addressed, once and for all. The issue will simply not go away, nor will the millions of immigrants locked in limbo that live inside the United States borders.