If there was any doubt that the Obama administration was serious about immigration reform, it was laid to rest when a draft of the proposal was leaked to the press.
Regardless of whether or not the leak was intentional, the fact remains that the White House and Obama are serious about comprehensive immigration reform. The President has been adamant that if a bill isn’t presented by the bi-partisan “Gang of Eight” senators or a similar group in the House of Representatives, that he would propose his own plan and have Congress vote on that. He also reiterated after the fact that the leak wasn’t an intentional move on his part, and that he was confident that negotiations were moving forward in the senate.
If nothing else, the bill’s leakage lit a fire under the pants of many, including Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. Rubio was quick to lambast the proposal, calling it “dead on arrival” and asserting that it failed to address border security concerns.
The truth of the matter is, our borders are as secure as they’ve ever been. The key facets of the bill are also not much different from what Rubio has said is necessary in a comprehensive reform proposal.
Many have projected that a preliminary bill could be laid out on the negotiating table by March. Some have expressed concern that Congress, which has been known to procrastinate, was once again sitting on its hands while the American public has voiced their overwhelming support for immigration reform.
If the leaked bill does anything to increase the sense of urgency among our elected officials, then it really doesn’t matter whether or not it was a calculated move. The most important thing for immigration reform right now is to keep up the momentum.