News / USA

Possible Legislative Breakthrough on US Immigration Reform

Sen. Jeff Sessions, speaks at a news conference hosted by the Tea Party Patriots to oppose the Senate immigration reform bill,  June 20, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, speaks at a news conference hosted by the Tea Party Patriots to oppose the Senate immigration reform bill, June 20, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Michael Bowman
A potential major breakthrough has emerged in the push to overhaul U.S. immigration laws. A bipartisan proposal has been drafted in the Senate to dramatically increase border security - a central demand of Republican lawmakers.
 
Many Republican senators have said they will not vote for immigration reform unless it includes strong and verifiable steps to secure America’s porous borders and stem the flow of illegal crossers. Among them is Senator John Hoeven.
 
“The first order of business for immigration reform is to secure the border," said Hoeven.
 
Disagreements over precisely what constitutes adequate border security threatened to derail the bill, which would provide a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.
 
But Thursday saw a breakthrough. Hoeven and fellow Republican Senator Bob Corker announced a compromise amendment negotiated with the bipartisan group that wrote the original immigration reform bill. The amendment mandates 20,000 more U.S. border agents, the construction of more than 1,000 kilometers of new fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, and an upgrade of border monitoring technology. Providing legal status to the undocumented would proceed only after those conditions are met.
 
Senator Corker:
 
“If this amendment passes, and I hope that it will, I do not know how anybody could argue that the reason they are not supporting this legislation is because we have not addressed securing the border," said Corker.
 
And yet a few Republican senators remain unconvinced, including Ted Cruz.
 
“What we know if this bill becomes law is the legalization, the amnesty will happen. What we also know from past experience is the border security will not," said Cruz.
 
Even so, the emergence of a possible bipartisan way forward on the thorniest issue surrounding immigration reform was jubilantly hailed by the so-called "Gang of Eight” senators who crafted the bill, including Democrat Charles Schumer.
 
“I am now confident, more confident than ever before, that the Senate will pass a strong bipartisan immigration reform bill, and that it will ultimately reach the desk of the president [Barack Obama]," said Schumer.
 
The border security amendment could be voted on next week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he wants the chamber to pass a final version of the bill in the next two weeks. If passed, it would go to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where border security demands will be even louder than they are in the Senate.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid