Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Let Me Repeat the Cliché – "The Devil Is in the Details"

by Proskauer Rose LLP

I have already seen the well-worn cliché, "the devil is in the details," four times attributed to Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR). It makes sense. Everybody seems to agree that Comprehensive Immigration Reform is necessary; but all are worried that it will be extremely difficult to come to an understanding of what Comprehensive Immigration Reform should look like!

Perhaps a better analogy to describe CIR is the tale of the eight blind men who were asked to touch an elephant and describe what it looks like, each coming up with a vastly different description. In a number of public forums, I have described why the problem of resolving CIR is so much more difficult than other seemingly intractable problems. For most issues, take the economic crisis as an example, there are two opposing world views or positions. To come to a solution, the parties must find a middle ground. They may have a terrifically difficult time reaching that middle ground, but almost everybody has a general idea of what that middle ground is and what the solution will ultimately be.

This is not the case with Comprehensive Immigration Reform where there are not two sides but, perhaps, ten different sides, zones of interest and issues of concern to particular constituencies and groups. All, or nearly all, of these components must be taken into account in order to come up with a CIR solution.

What we see now are many different groups marking their territories and staking out their positions for the battle ahead.

  • First to go on record was a bipartisan group of senators, including Senators Charles Schumer, John McCain, Dick Durbin, Lindsey Graham, Robert Menendez, Marco Rubio, Michael Bennett and Jeff Flake, enunciating basic principles that include a "tough but fair" path to citizenship; reforming our legal immigration system; creating an effective employment verification system; and establishing an improved process for admitting future workers.
  • Then President Obama went on record identifying his goals, including improvement to enforcement and border security; a path to "earned" legalization and citizenship; and bringing our legal immigration system into the 21st century.
  • Senators Hatch, Klobuchar, Rubio and Coons introduced the Immigration Innovation Act, focusing on business immigration, expanding availability of H-1B visas and making them easier to use, and increasing immigrant visa availability for employment-based applicants.
  • Next, Senator Grassley introduced a bill, "The Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act," that seeks to make E-verify mandatory for all U.S. employers.
  • Further, The New York Times reported that a bipartisan group in the House of Representatives has been meeting secretly to put together its own proposal for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
  • On February 5, President Obama held a meeting at the White House with labor and business leaders to discuss and build support for his immigration overhaul proposals.
  • On the same day, Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), head of the House Judiciary Committee, conducted hearings on immigration reform, and the Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled its own hearings for February 13.

I am sure it will not stop there!

In my view, the biggest obstacle to Comprehensive Immigration Reform is that there are passionate groups against almost every one of its critical components, even if both Democrats and Republicans recognize that CIR is critical to their respective agendas.

Specifically, there is a hard-core group that is adverse to bringing immigrants into the United States in any form whatsoever and will seek to oppose immigration reform in any way possible.

There are those who are dead set against any path to residence and/or citizenship for undocumented aliens, which they see as an inappropriate "amnesty", however it might be packaged.

Further, there are those who passionately oppose improvements in the "business immigration" categories, with no sympathy to the needs of business, viewing any increase in visas as hurting U.S. workers.

There are those who see tightened control at the borders and increasing enforcement against individual immigrants as biased, discriminatory and in violation of individual rights.

Perhaps the only provision that all agree upon, or at least pay lip service to, is cracking down on employers hiring undocumented workers.

So, am I really that pessimistic about whether Comprehensive Immigration Reform will come about? I don't know. The real mystery is whether enough senators and congressmen will be able to see the big picture and recognize that Comprehensive Immigration Reform is critical and essential to the future of our country.

Let the games begin, and let us all hope that the United States is the victor.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Proskauer Rose LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.