Changes to US immigration laws have taken a front seat in Congressional and Presidential speeches, as both the Senate is working to devise legislation and President Barak Obama is pushing for support from congress and the public. During Obama’s inaugural address Monday, January 20, 2013, he focused on the subject during his speech, explaining “Our journey is not complete until we find a way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity, until bright young students and engineers are listed in our workforce instead of being expelled from our country.”
This specific reference was about the issuance of visas to students who come to the United Sates to be trained as STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students. These students are only allowed to stay through their education, and must leave the country once their studies are over.
Michael Wildes, a former US prosecutor in New York and now one of the nation’s top immigration attorneys, explained “The President is alluding to a principle that pervades policy in immigration law for generations.” He continued, “That is, we want to keep our families united together and second of all, we want to make sure that we don’t train the world’s experts all over only to see them leave our shores.”
Wildes said the US has a political immigration law that has not been addressed in a generation, which has resulted in a law that does not address today’s issues.
Wildes also stated that the current Congressional push for immigration reform may produce results, as he explained “turning our back on [immigrants] is tantamount to shooting ourselves in the foot.” The immigrant vote in the last election, November 2012, resulted in a 75% turnout for Democratic tickets, particularly those who support immigration reform.
As the first month of 2013 comes to a close, the projections for immigration reform are looking positive so far.