Thursday, March 28, 2013

Movement on Immigration Reform Expected After Easter

The President predicted that immigration reform could pass by the end of the summerThe President expected an immigration reform bill to be ready after the Easter break, and New York Senator Chuck Schumer confirmed his belief that a birpartisan group of Senators called the Group of Eight was "90 percent" done with drafting the bill.

The bill is expected to include stronger border security measures, a pathway to citizenship for undocumented aliens already in the country, an expansion of visas available to high-tech workers, and some form of a guest worker programHomeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stated her expectation that any new reforms would be fee-based so that the costs would not be borne by the taxpayers.  Addressing those aliens present in the country without legal status, Napolitano stated, "They need to get right with the law -- they did break the law."

One big issue that could slow the pace of reform was disagreement over the guest worker program.  Despite this issue, the President stated that he saw "enormous progress over the last month and a half" between Republicans and Democrats, adding that both sides "have been very serious about the negotiations."

The Christian Science Monitor has also reported that border security could be an issue that impedes progress on reform.

Regarding the pace of reform, some Republicans Senators have urged Senator Patrick Leahy, Chiar of the Committee on the Judiciary, not to rush reform without proper debate.  Leahy responded that he intended "to proceed to comprehensive immigration reform with all deliberate speed."

Senator John McCain, however, a member of the Group of Eight, would not commit to a timetable, noting that there were still major points of contention.

By: William J. Kovatch, Jr.
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