Immigration reform: Extreme partisanship is paralyzing Washington


By Marianela Toledo | Florida Watchdog

MIAMI — A pro-immigrant group, the Center for Immigrant Orientation, blames political polarization for the delay in passing immigration reform.

“We’ve got to get rid of the partisanship and stop criticizing each other,” says Carlos Pereira, a Honduran immigrant who founded the nonprofit in 2006. “That’s the essence of the failure of immigration reform in these last 10 years.”

POLITICAL POLARIZATION: Pro-immigrant group, Center for Immigrant Orientation (CODI), says the delays in passing immigration reform are due to political polarization.

Pereira, whose group helps qualifying immigrants become citizens and register to vote, said many people think Democrats are most responsible for helping immigrants.

But, he said, it’s the Republicans who passed the country’s lone amnesty program. “When we’re free from ideology, political groups, and others who are involved in this immigration reform, things will change,” he said.

A few weeks ago, Republican majority house leader John Boehner presented a proposal on immigration reform that emphasized greater border security and enforcement measures, as well as “providing a path to legal status — but not citizenship — for many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country.”

Within a few hours, his own party rejected it, saying it was too much like amnesty.

Pereira thinks the immigration reform message is confusing and that it shouldn