Pew Research has released a survey that found that to Hispanic and Asian Americans deportation relief is seen as more important than a pathway to citizenship. This comes as no surprise to anyone that practices deportation defense.

From the survey:

By 55% to 35%, Hispanics say that they think being able to live and work in the United States legally without the threat of deportation is more important for unauthorized immigrants than a pathway to citizenship. Asian Americans hold a similar view, albeit by a smaller margin—49% to 44%.

Together Hispanics and Asian Americans account for two-thirds of the 28 million immigrants who are in the U.S. legally, and Hispanics alone account for about three-quarters of the additional 11.7 million immigrants who, according to Pew Research Center estimates, are in the country illegally.

Here's the problem. There are powerful forces that are demanding a pathway to citizenship as a central component of immigration reform legislation, which we all know will result is reform's failure, and is one of the main reasons why the Senate Bill was dead on arrival. You have to question the motivations of the people taking an all or nothing approach. To me it is more likely that they want to see reform fail so they can continue to use immigration as a wedge issue in 2014 and 2016. They are playing politics by trying to "win" the immigration reform debate, rather than fighting for actual reform that stops deportations, and provides legality that brings millions of people out of the shadows. So long as immigration reform legislation doesn't preclude citizenship through normal channels it is worthy of consideration.

The client I represented today in Federal Court is a father of two United States citizen children, and he is married to a Green Card holder. He and his family could really care less if reform includes an automatic pathway to citizenship. He just doesn't want to have his family destroyed by deportation. This study reveals that he is in the majority.

Here is the bottom line: If you want immigration reform in 2014 you better be willing to accept a solution that does not have a baked in pathway to citizenship. It really is that simple.