Los Angeles Immigration Attorney Anya McLean Comments on Recent Immigration Reform News

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President Obama's recent comments, a poll reflecting widespread support for comprehensive reform and Congressman Denham's efforts all indicate that despite setbacks, comprehensive immigration reform may be inevitable in the very near future, Immigration Attorney Anya McLean believes.

Regardless of what happens, I will continue representing my clients and their best interests, but I truly believe reform is on the way

Despite years of delays and political posturing at the state and federal level, Immigration Attorney Anya McLean is hopeful that the time is right for comprehensive immigration reform. A new poll suggests that many US citizens from diverse political backgrounds support such reform. Though Washington continues to stall, change may be on the horizon.

Momentum seems to be on the side of immigration reformers. At least that is the conclusion that can be gleaned from a recent poll conducted by Politico. In the May 19, 2014 article that offers a report on the poll, "Poll: GOP voters back immigration reform" by Katie Glueck, she writes that "Seventy-one percent of likely voters surveyed — and nine of 10 Hispanics — said they back sweeping change to immigration laws. The support spans party lines: 64 percent of Republican respondents back comprehensive immigration reform, as do 78 percent of Democrats and 71 percent of independents." Immigration Attorney Anya McLean, who has offices in both Phoenix and Los Angeles, says she is not surprised by such support across party lines.

"Though many people view immigration as a human rights issue, many others see it as an issue related to practicality and economics. Perhaps this new poll will force lawmakers to take action and satisfy people on all sides of this debate and insure that hard-working, honest and otherwise law-abiding immigrants can get a fair chance in this country. The current system is inordinately expensive and it is a human rights nightmare. No one is happy with the current system and practical solutions are possible."

McLean has assisted countless families and individuals from all over the world negotiate the complex federal immigration system. McLean is hopeful that the recent poll and President Obama's recent comments reflect real possibilities for change. "I have seen the damage that current immigration policy can inflict and how immigrants who are an asset to the nation are compared to dangerous criminals. The president recently asserted that comprehensive reform may lead to a better use of law enforcement resources and increased attention on 'real' criminals. Whether or not this is a convincing argument to the president's opponents remains to be seen but it is an argument that should at least be considered." She refers to a David Jackson article published in the USA TODAY on May 13, 2014.

In "Obama: We have a 'narrow window' to get immigration bill" Jackson writes that the president has chosen a third option to frame the immigration debate: instead of a strictly human rights issue or financial issue, the president argues that comprehensive immigration reform will "be good for law enforcement" and the reforms the Senate passed several months ago will make "it easier for officers to stop criminals from crossing the border or exploiting a vulnerable labor supply." The House has, thus far, not been supportive of the reform bill passed by the Senate.

"Yes the political wrangling will continue and the recent news about Congressman Denham's proposed measure can be looked at as a disappointment. But I see it differently," McLean says. "Though 'comprehensive reform' means different things to different people, there are some reforms that gain widespread support." One area that has typically garnered bi-partisan support involves a change to the status for immigrants who came to the US illegally as a children but who later serve in the US military.

California Republican Jeff Denham's measure would have granted legal permanent resident status to immigrants who were brought into the United States illegally as children but who later served in the United States military. House Leader John Boehner announced that the measure would not be added to the national defense authorization bill as Denham had hoped. This is the second year in a row that the measure has failed. In a May 20, ABC News article on the subject, "Boehner Defends Rejecting Immigration Measure," Erica Werner writes that the failure to get this added to the defense bill may lead to a defeat of "the likeliest area of compromise on the contentious issue" this year.

Even though Congressman Denham's measure has been tabled once again, "the bills that are presented, the debates that are heard in public and the discussions being held throughout the nation indicate that change is inevitable. All the attention paid to this subject and consistent political attempts at getting reform passed will have an impact sooner rather than later. Regardless of what happens, I will continue representing my clients and their best interests, but I truly believe reform is on the way."

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Anya McLean
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