Barack Obama promised that if elected he would fix the healthcare debacle and push forth immigration reform. Obama delivered healthcare at the expense of immigration reform. Now that the Democrats control the House and that immigration remains a hot topic in national politics, the question is, will the Democrats help resolve the immigration imbroglio?

The history seems to indicate that immigration reform will remain unresolved. The Democrats trout out support for immigrants during elections but, have historically avoided giving immigrants greater access to America. The reason is simple, Democrats depend on labor organizations for support and labor have no interest in allowing low wage workers to compete against American workers.

To enact immigration reform, the Congress must agree to new legislation and Donald Trump must sign the legislation into law. The Senate is dominated by the Republicans.

Republicans support greater access for Mexican immigrants to work in the United States, notwithstanding the small, but loud conservative minority within the GOP. Proof of this reality lies in the fact that the GOP could not muster draconian immigration reform recently even though they controlled both houses of Congress and had a president willing to sign any legislation that severely curtailed immigration to America. Most Republicans would welcome immigration reform allowing workers unfettered access to the American workplaces.

Although the Republicans continue to control the Senate, the divisiveness of the country may not allow them to work on substantial immigration reform. The House, now controlled by the Democrats, are also unlikely to push forth immigration reform as they tackle health legislation and become mired in controversies regarding investigations into Donald Trump.

Even if both houses of Congress were to put forth substantial immigration legislation, DACA being the exception, it is unlikely that Donald Trump would sign the legislation if it does not include funding for the wall, or the substantial restrictions on immigration that Trump is demanding.

The likely scenario is that substantial immigration reform will now have to wait until after the 2020 national elections.

But there is one scenario that could result in immigration reform. If the House were to offer funding for the wall, or draconian immigration limits to Donald Trump in exchange for a health package that the Democrats can use to proclaim delivering the promise of universal healthcare, then the Senate would rally behind it and Trump would sign it. This would deliver a “win” to the Democrats, the Republicans and to Donald Trump, at the expense of immigrants.

This scenario is not as far fetched as it sounds because it is historically supported as evidenced by the fact that immigration reform continues to be illusive in America.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

One reply on “Will Democrats Abandon Immigrants for Healthcare?”

  1. Immigration is too good of an issue for the political rivalry of the two wings; they may not want to “reform” that which keeps giving, especially now that we find ourselves in an incessant cycle of election.

    Then there’s the exploitation of their labor, strongly evident in times of disasters, from hurricanes to hailstorms. The undocumented immigrants are there for the cleanups and restoration from sunup to sundown.

    Let’s see how the new members of congress, those who were elected for their anti-status quo, will do on immigration.

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