GOP’s Hesitance On Immigration Reform Belies Claim It’s Party Of “Family Values”


Has Speaker John Boehner put the kill on any GOP action towards immigration reform this year?

[Commentary: On Immigration]

The immigration system is broken and the GOP lacks the will and urgency to fix it any time soon.

The majority of Americans are supportive of immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. The GOP however continues to be a roadblock for such progress. Within a week of releasing their “Standards for Immigration Reform”, Speaker Boehner stated reservations about moving forward with immigration reform this year.

They say that children should not be punished for their parents’ wrongdoing. They also say they desire to provide an opportunity for citizenship for youth that were brought here as children through no fault of their own and know no other place as home. However, for the aged-out children of recruited workers, they will continue to be punished for something that was out of their control.

Due to extensive immigration backlog delays the children of recruited workers, who come legally to the US, fall out of status while they wait on lengthy immigration lines. This happened to me and other children of Caribbean teachers.

Imagine you were in our position; your parents are professional educators, recruited by the city to teach in the public schools system. You came to the US lawfully, entered school and began preparing for college. You start the process for permanent residency, yet in the decade or so that your family has been waiting, you or your siblings age-out of the immigration line.

Without warning or having done anything wrong you have lost your status. You’re then told that as an illegal immigrant you must leave your family and everything you know to return to a country you don’t know or remember. Do you think that is fair?

When the GOP say they intend to fix the legal immigration system it is not right that they only stress visas and green cards for the exceptionally skilled and temporary farm workers. There must be a focus on the family.

If we continue to promote broken families then we continue to promote broken individuals and a broken nation. Immigration policy must unequivocally ensure that all aged-out youth that were brought to the US as child dependents should have an opportunity to become legal residents and citizens.

Casualties of the broken immigration system will otherwise continue to be punished for something we had no control over; for aging-out of the backlogged legal immigration system.



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