Immigration Reform May be a Victor in the Midterm Elections
Cornell law professor and co-author of a 20-volume immigration law treatise Stephen Yale-Loehr, assesses how the election results will impact immigration reform.
With Republicans now controlling both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, is comprehensive immigration reform dead for the next few years? Many pundits have said yes, but Yale-Loehr offers a different assessment.
“Unlike the midterm elections, the 2016 elections will focus on national issues. Republicans have an incentive to enact immigration reform in the next two years to court minority voters.
“Only 16 percent of the House’s Republicans represent districts in which Latinos account for 20 percent or more of the population. In the short term, to stay elected, many House Republicans shied away from immigration reform. It was a non-issue in the midterm elections.”
“For their long-term national survival, however, Republicans will be better off passing immigration reform and vying for the hearts and minds of the voters such a bill will benefit. In the 2012 presidential election, 71 percent of Hispanics and 73 percent of Asian voters voted Democratic. The Republicans don’t want that to happen again,” he added.
Besides that, he said that Republican leaders have already acknowledged that they need to enact bipartisan bills to stay in power. House Speaker John Boehner has repeatedly said that some sort of immigration bill should pass.
“With minorities making up an increasing percentage of voters, both parties know they need to fix our broken immigration system. Failure to do so before 2016 may hurt both political parties,” he pointed out.