Prospects for genuine immigration reform are better now than they have been in quite some time. In his remarks on election night, President Obama signaled an interest in it. Polls show a clear majority of Americans support creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants – even those who came to the U.S. illegally.
In a poll released by ABC News this week, 57 percent of Americans said they are in favor of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are already here. Such a path would go well beyond the Deferred Action program that temporarily protects certain younger immigrants from deportation.
A path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants would be a cause for celebration for people from many different races and countries. Hispanics, in particular, have a big stake in the question, because so many Latinos have immigrated to the U.S. over the years.
Though far from the Mexican border, Minnesota has welcomed many of these Hispanics. The Twin Cities area has thriving Hispanics communities on the West Side of St. Paul and elsewhere. There are also many Latinos who live in greater Minnesota.
Not surprisingly, then, Hispanic support in the poll for the chance to adjust immigration status to the path of citizenship was very high. Nationally, 82 percent of Hispanics support such a path.
Of course, it will take a great political compromise to pass comprehensive immigration reform. There are still many people and politicians who are opposed to any type of amnesty for immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally. So there are no guarantees that immigration reform will happen soon.
In the meantime, would-be immigrants should consider all other options that are available to them, such as seeking work visas or family reunification. And for younger immigrants, the Deferred Action program remains in place.
Source: “Majority Supports Path to Citizenship; Greater Division on Other Social Issues,” ABC News, 11-14-12
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