THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE

Immigration Reform At A Crossroads

Given the uncertain future of immigration reform, preparation and planning ahead are perhaps the two most essential elements for immigration success.

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For many immigrants, the quest to live and work legally in the United States has been an incessant roller coaster ride.  One day, immigration reform is just around the corner. A day later, reform is just another word, void of practical meaning.

As a result, they are swift to pounce on the latest presidential sound bites, hurried proclamations of change by activists, and cursory legal opinions of attorneys.

Their haste is unmerited. Immigration change, if and when it happens, will not be a one-day Black Friday special.

Immigration reform, properly viewed, is not a sprint. It is an attempt to shape the ground rules for legal residency and citizenship in a new America, an America which hopes to continue its standing as the paradigm of freedom, justice, and equality for a global community.

Law, in almost any area, is impossible to shape in an absolute comprehensive manner all at once.  There are too many differences of opinions, politically, economically, and socially.  Immigration reform is no exception.

Compromise is the likely outcome. There will be aspects immigrants welcome and aspects they criticize.

Even after a compromise is reached, legislative winds will continue to shift.  As shortcomings are uncovered, new legal challenges will arise.  The roller coaster ride, in other words, will remain in effect.

There are no safe bets on the future of immigration reform – other than an immigration bill will eventually be passed by Congress and signed into law by the President.

Against this backdrop, advocates would do well to adopt a slower, steady approach forward like a tortoise, rather than haphazardly rushing to endorse the immigration platforms of their preferred candidates . . . or risk jeopardizing their constituents’ opportunities for real success.

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