News / USA

Washington Week: Focus on Immigration, Gun Control

Washington Week: Focus on Immigration, Gun Controli
X
April 14, 2013 10:20 PM
Two of America’s thorniest issues - immigration reform and gun control - will be the focus of deliberations in the U.S. Senate this week. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports that rare bipartisanship has emerged on both issues, boosting prospects for legislative action.

Washington Week: Focus on Immigration, Gun Control

Michael Bowman
— Two of America’s thorniest issues - immigration reform and gun control - will be the focus of deliberations in the U.S. Senate this week.  Rare bipartisanship has emerged on both issues, boosting prospects for legislative action.
 
Months of negotiations between a group of Democratic and Republican senators have yielded a bipartisan immigration reform bill, expected to be unveiled later this week.  Reports say the proposal would provide a rigorous path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants that is conditioned upon heightened U.S. border security.
 
Last week there were rallies from Washington to Los Angeles demanding action.
 
Reform opponents want America’s borders secured before laws are changed.  Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies.
 
“That is a debate we should not even have until we have in place the enforcement tools, and we have allowed them to work for a couple years," he said. 
 
On another key issue, the Senate voted last week to consider gun reform.
 
Bills include a bipartisan proposal to expand background checks for firearms purchases.  Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said, “We have an agreement on an amendment to prevent criminals and the mentally ill and insane from getting firearms and harming people.”
 
Deliberations come four months after a mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.  Saturday, the parent of a child gunned down in that shooting delivered President Barack Obama’s weekly address.
 
“Please help us do something before our tragedy becomes your tragedy," said Francine Wheeler, mother of one of the Newtown shooting victims. 
 
But not all lawmakers believe firearms restrictions will improve public safety.  
 
Republican Senator Mike Lee said, “Any limitation on this fundamental right of self defense makes us more dependent on our government for our own protection.  Government cannot be everywhere at all times, so the practical effect of limiting our individual rights is to make us less safe.”
 
Democratic Senator Chris Murphy disagrees. “Liberty is not about having any gun you want anytime you want it.  Liberty also has to be about the right to be free from indiscriminate violence," he said. 
 
Polls show majorities of Americans favor stricter gun laws and an immigration overhaul.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid