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Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 09:00 AM CDT
| After a month-long recess, our hard-at-work Congress members will be ready to return to Washington, D.C. next week and attempt to tackle once again (or not) the complex issue that's immigration reform.
With a lot of other highly important matters left pending (think Syria, healthcare, and economic doom), immigration reform won't likely be the first issue they attempt to tackle. In fact, if the GOP-controlled House cannot get its act together, immigration reform may not even happen at all.
So, who is to lose if immigration reform does ultimately fail? Who is to win if immigration reform does succeed this time?
Read more after the jump.
|The Losers If Immigration Reform Fails:|
Marco Rubio was once thought of as the rising star and (only) hope of the Republican Party. It was to be Rubio vs. Clinton in 2016. How things have changed in only a matter of months.
If immigration reform efforts succeed, and if he were to decide to run for president, Rubio will at the very least have a major accomplishment to show for by his risky leadership role in the "Gang of Eight." But if immigration reform fails, Rubio will be the guy who shook hands with the Democrats in order to provide "amnesty" for the "illegal immigrants" -- against the wishes of the GOP voting base -- and ended up obtaining nothing from it.
As we say in Latin America to individuals without a real cause: Hay que Dios lo bendiga.
John Cornyn has a record of defeating reform efforts while disguising himself as a fighter to fix our country's broken immigration system. Cornyn will very likely face a challenger from the Tea Party in his upcoming 2014 re-election bid. As a result, Cornyn has been following his cues from Tea Party favorite, Ted Cruz, taking stances further and further to the right.
Despite 67% of Texans supporting immigration reform, and Texas being one of the states that benefits most from immigration, the two Texas U.S. Senators attempted to sabotage the measures that ultimately passed the Senate. While this won't immediately hurt Cruz, as his voting base is very anti-immigrant, the Tea Party won't exactly be riling up to save Cornyn anytime soon and neither will Latinos in Texas. Cornyn's days in office are numbered.
The former 2012 Vice Presidential Candidate, Paul Ryan, is one of the only GOP party leaders who is actively lobbying conference members to support comprehensive immigration reform. His role has been by far more involved than even Speaker John Boehner. Yet if the GOP House turn their back on him, this new failure will further prove Ryan has no real influence over his party and any dreams of being part of another presidential race are hopeless.
|Big Tech Companies
Big tech companies -- including Facebook -- have invested millions on immigration reform. Their main objective has been to increase the number of foreign high-tech workers allowed in the country. Their efforts nearly tripled the number of high-skilled H-1B visas in the Senate bill (from 65,000 up to 180,000), and they have also managed to beat some of the stricter enforcement proposals, including requiring employers to prove immigrant employees do not displace U.S. workers.
|The Texas Economy
Report after report have shown our state's economy has a lot to gain from immigration reform. Providing a pathway to earned citizenship for immigrants and expanding high-skilled and other temporary worker programs would boost Texas's economic output by $3.8 billion and create approximately 43,097 new jobs just next year. By 2045, boost to Texas's economic output would be around $18.9 billion.
On the other hand, Texas would lose over $17.7 billion dollars yearly by deporting our immigrant population. These numbers account for data collected close to a decade ago, with an immigrant population that was less in size. Republicans have refused to update such study.
Immigrants would help balance out an increase in retirees-per-worker as the baby boom generation retires, strengthening the Social Security program. Because most immigrants are younger, and would immediately be subject to payroll taxes, the independent SSA Actuary expects immigration reform will reduce the long-run Social Security trust fund shortfall.
They estimate that the Senate's immigration reform bill will add nearly $300 billion to the Social Security Trust Fund over the next decade. Immigration reform would improve Social Security's finances over the long run, extending Social Security solvency by two years.
|The Winners If Immigration Reform Succeeds:|
| Undocumented Immigrants
It goes without saying that the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the country are those most affected by the matter and would be the biggest winners of a successful reform. Their families will no longer face the fear of deportation that lurks within every corner of every day. Their success will give new birth to the American Dream.
Evangelical Christians have done an amazing job advocating for immigration reform among conservatives, proving their voice and influence extends well-beyond LGBT rights and same-sex marriage. Over the August recess, evangelicals have been attending congressional town halls, district meetings, and immigration reform roundtables, mounting an unprecedented multiethnic campaign for immigration reform.
|The U.S. Economy
The U.S. economy already benefits tremendously from immigrants. Immigration reform would be a giant freebie for further development.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found enacting the Senate immigration reform bill would reduce the federal budget deficit by nearly $850 billion over the next 20 years. The Fiscal Policy Institute found immigrant-owned small businesses generated a total of $776 billion in receipts and employed an estimated 4.7 million people in 2007. The Partnership for a New American Economy found immigrants began 28 percent of all new U.S. businesses in 2011, despite only being 13 percent of the U.S. population.
The Democratic Party
The party that has sought out to champion immigration reform will benefit the most from it. Immigration reform has turned into an issue only liberals are united to accomplish.
The Republican Party has only but done a great job at making themselves seem anti-immigrant and anti-Latino, and completely out of touch from today's world. Our immigrant population will go from being undocumented to one day obtaining the ability to vote and participate alongside the rest of us in our nation's electoral process. The times of hostility and struggles (against Republicans) won't soon be forgotten. Not by the recent immigrants, and not by their sons and daughters, for many, many generations to come.
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