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. 

You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid