As the 114th Congress hurtles toward the finish line of the November elections, we have watched--with great disappointment--the failure to fix the immigration issues plaguing our economy. Despite Congressional intransigence on the issue, it appeared earlier this summer that President Obama was planning to step into the void and take sweeping executive actions to address the growing crisis of our nation’s broken immigration system. Alas, we can now chalk up further inaction as, best case, another election year casualty; worst case, failure at all levels of government to fix a broken immigration system.
Earlier this week, the Obama Administration quietly deferred further action until after the November elections, apparently in an attempt to shore up politically vulnerable members of their party in hotly-contested seats. In so doing, they have left the millions of families already ravaged by government inaction in further limbo. Once again, they lessened our ability to remain competitive in a global marketplace by still failing to keep the gifted immigrant thinkers and doers--trained in our schools--here building companies.
It would be easy to write this off cynically given the electoral climate for the President and his party, but we must make this an opportunity to ask the Administration to do more, to live up to its commitments and to not sit idly by while families struggle with their status and businesses flounder without talent to drive their goals. Simply put, we can’t wait and wonder when inaction will turn to action, and we must resolve to send a message in this election season that delay won’t cut it.
As candidates return home this month and engage in their reelection campaigns in earnest, find them at the town hall, in the supermarket, when they visit your startup, wherever it may be, and ask them: how much longer we have to wait for them and the Administration to lead? Because we have waited too long already, and it is time for this President and this Congress to put people and opportunity ahead of politics and party and pass common sense immigration reform now.