News / USA

Battle for US Immigration Reform Gathers Steam

Battle for US Immigration Reform Moves on Ahead of State of the Union Addressi
X
February 06, 2013
U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to make immigration reform a priority in his State of the Union Address. But already, talk of tackling this controversial issue is gaining momentum. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
TEXT SIZE - +
U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to make immigration reform a priority in his State of the Union Address.  But already, talk of tackling this controversial issue is gaining momentum.

There are an estimated 11-million illegal immigrants in the United States with more still hoping to cross the border.

Claudia Hernandez came here as a child, and like many in her situation, she feels she belongs in the U.S. 

"I have been here more than half of my life, and I respect the United States. This is my country," she said.

Only days into his second term, President Obama began the push for change.

"The time has come for common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform," he stated. "The time is now."

Already, Congress has begun to hold hearings.

And a bipartisan group of senators, including former Republican presidential candidate John McCain, is pushing ahead with a plan of its own.

"We have been too content for too long to allow individuals to mow our lawn, serve us food, clean our homes and even watch our children while not affording them any of the benefits that make our country so great," McCain said.

The bi-partisan plan calls for tighter border controls as well as a path to citizenship, something President Obama insists upon.

That worries Jim Gilchrist. He founded the Minuteman Project, a citizen's group that helps guard the border.

"If we are going to grant amnesty to 15 to 30-million people, who are here illegally now, we are going to be granting amnesty to 300 million," he added. "Who will follow them over the next several decades."

Other activists and lawmakers say proposals to secure the borders don't go far enough - even though the United States spends more money on immigration enforcement than on all other federal law enforcement activities combined.

In the meantime, the pressure is on - both President Obama and Congress.

Janet Murguia heads La Raza, the largest U.S. Hispanic civil rights and advocacy group.  "The reality is that Hispanic and Latin voters went to the polls on election day with the economy on their minds, but with immigration reform in their hearts," she said.

With the State of the Union address as a platform, advocates on all sides of the issue are hoping something gets done, all too aware such hopes have been dashed before.

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid