A bipartisan Senate group today released its plan for the most comprehensive rewrite of U.S. immigration law in almost three decades. It would allow [upwards of 11 million] undocumented immigrants who pay at least $2,000 in fines and meet other criteria to become permanent U.S. residents, and seek citizenship after more than a decade, if border security benchmarks are met.
But, according to a Washington Post article:
Leading Capitol Hill opponents of a Senate proposal to overhaul the nation’s immigration system are coalescing around a strategy to kill the bill by delaying the legislative process as long as possible, providing time to offer “poison pill” amendments aimed at breaking apart the fragile bipartisan group that developed the plan, according to lawmakers and legislative aides.
The proposal includes plans to create a Bureau of Immigration and Labor Market Research which would use “labor market and demographic information to identify labor shortages and help set an annual visa cap.” Additionally, available work visas would practically double for high-skilled fields including in demand STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, already under-supplied by a laggin US work force. Also, a new category of “entrepreneur” visas would be established. The plan also includes a $3 billion budget for “border security enhancements” and language which necessitates the creation of an electronic worker verification system. This system, meant to determine whether people are authorized to work in the U.S., will presumably deal with the millions of people who arrive legally in the U.S., yet never leave once their visas expire. Also included is the creation of an electronic border entry-exit system, yet it eliminates sibling visa provisions.
What do you think of this bipartisan immigration over-haul? What’s missing, and what does it address adequately?
Written by Michelle Sicignano, LMSW, SJS staff writer
Our authors want to hear from you! Click to leave a comment
Thanks for the great article. So much is riding on this legislation. My hope is that social workers and organizations get out there and advocate as much as possible. This is what the 2012 election was riding on and we must make our representatives believe their jobs hang in the balance.
I highly recommend this new documentary called Harvest of Empire: The Untold Story of Latinos in America. http://harvestofempiremovie.com/. I was thinking about writing a post on it because it was the first documentary of its kind that was made to be so accessible to the general public.
Gaby, please do, the hardest part about what we are doing here is convincing people that we truly need their voices. SJS is not about our staff, we want to feature a more dynamic picture of the world and to do so we need you tell us what is important! Look forward to reading it.