News / USA

Push for US Immigration Reform Gains Momentum

Michael Bowman
Democratic and Republican lawmakers report progress on a bipartisan push to reform U.S. immigration laws. An agreement on proposed legislation to fix America’s oft-lambasted immigration system could be announced later this week.
 
After years of failed and frustrated efforts at immigration reform, a bipartisan breakthrough could be close at hand.
 
Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, speaking on ABC’s This Week program, said, “I am cautiously optimistic.  I see the right spirit.  I see things that were once off the table for agreement and discussion being on the table.”
 
Menendez belongs to a group of Democratic and Republican senators that has been working to craft an immigration-reform package that could pass both houses of Congress.  The lawmakers say the deal they envision would provide a means to give legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants while also strengthening U.S. border security.
 
Another member of the group, Republican Senator John McCain, also appeared on This Week.  McCain said the ideas being discussed are not new, but the political landscape surrounding immigration reform has changed.
 
“It is not that much different from what we tried to do in 2007.  What has changed, honestly, is that there is a new appreciation on both sides of the aisle - including, maybe more importantly, on the Republican side of the aisle - that we have to enact a comprehensive immigration reform bill," he said. 
 
Republican opposition to immigration reform appears to have softened since last year’s presidential election, when more than two-thirds of Hispanic voters cast ballots for the Democratic Party's Barack Obama.  Prominent Republicans have said their party will be hard-pressed to win national contests unless it can attract greater support from Hispanics and other minority groups.
 
But points of contention remain, including whether foreign citizens who entered the United States illegally or overstayed their visas can be eligible for eventual U.S. citizenship.
 
Senator Menendez says yes. “Absolutely.  First of all, Americans support it in poll after poll.  Secondly, Latino voters expect it.  Third, Democrats want it.  And fourth, Republicans need it," he said. 
 
For now, many Republican lawmakers are non-committal on a possible path to citizenship for the undocumented.  But Senator McCain says the status quo is unacceptable.
 
“We cannot go on forever with 11-million people living in this country in the shadows in an illegal status.  We cannot forever have children who were brought here by their parents when they were small children to live in the shadows, as well.  So I think the time is right [for immigration reform]," he said. 
 
Tuesday, President Obama will attempt to rally public support for immigration reform with a speech in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

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Comments
     
by: Phuong from: Georgia
January 29, 2013 2:38 PM
Million of Americans are without job including scientists. Senators, why you guys keep doing this kind of things? we the american people did not send you to Washington so that you would serve illegal and "high-skills workers" from other countries.

by: Vickie from: Chattanooga, TN
January 28, 2013 8:47 AM
We simply cannot sustain being Mexico's welfare department. To sell out the American people for votes is criminal.

by: Dave Francis
January 27, 2013 6:29 PM
DIVIDE AND CONQUER! BUT THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES?

My guess the politicians will win this time and the American people—as always—will get the bill for supporting illegal aliens. Very few of us who haven’t been brain-washed over the illegal alien controversy and with a Socialist administration in power, the only winners are the “Freeloaders” deadbeats and spongers, which are bottom feeders that live of the rest of the working population. They pay for nothing, as everything virtually free especially with this Imperial regime. This is going to be a repeat performance of the 1986 path to citizenship that exploded into a fraudulent façade. The so called pay a fine, learn English as two required principles, never happened? Most fines were waived, as the majority of Guest Workers couldn’t afford it, and the so called learning the language was a travesty, as the illegal aliens involved took a couple of classes and because it was run by La Raza, got a pass score. The whole thing was a travesty and the commitment of former President Reagan’s Washington to prosecute employers fizzled. Let’s face it their all a bunch of bare faced liars who cringe at the feet of special interest groups, because they are the ones that really run the country. A few must be excused from these slimy-palmed politicians, such as Senator Sessions of Arkansas who is a people’s legislator and doesn’t work in collusion with anti-constitution politicians.

FOR THE LIFE OF ME, WHY WOULD THESE ELECTED CIVIL SERVANTS, INCLUDING THE PRESIDENT WANT TO ENACT A PATH TO CITIZENSHIP FOR A DELIBERATELY UNDERESTIMATED 11 MILLION PEOPLE SQUATTING HERE ILLEGALLY? WHEN THERE ARE OVER 20 MILLION AMERICANS UNEMPLOYED, UNDEREMPLOYED OR JUST GIVEN UP AND JOINING THE RANKS (INCLUDING FOREIGN NATIONALS) SINGNING UP FOR FOOD STAMPS AND OTHER BENEFITS.

NEXT TUESDAY WILL BE A GRAVE DAY FOR AMERICA, WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD NO RESPECT FOR OUR LAWS GAINING CITIZENSHIP? FAR WORSE IS THE CONTINUENCE OF MORE CHAIN MIGRATION. The Nuclear Family Priority Act, HR 692 (Gingrey, R-GA), would end chain migration while expediting the reunification of married couples and of parents with their young children. It would eliminate the categories of adult siblings and adult children, providing an annual decrease in immigration of over 110,000 per year. The reduction would be larger over time as there would be fewer new immigrants to sponsor additional relatives (Chain Migration.) Then include this with the waiting BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP BILL. Look it up, as it makes good judgment, as other industrialized nations have also removed it. That only people who is already a U.S. citizen can apply for citizenship for their child. It’s become a travesty of 14th amendment that allowed slaves the right to citizenship and their descendants. This should was not applicable to illegal alien children, because at that time there was no such thing as illegal immigration. The cost in BILLIONS of dollars is too high, to carry on this fallacy?

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