GOP and Democratic leaders agree on path to citizenship in immigration bill
Up to 30,000 undocumented Irish could gain from proposed changes in law
Both Republicans and Democrats agreed at the weekend that a path to citizenship for the undocumented will be part of the new immigration reform bill.
A reform bill could affect as many as 30,000 Irish undocumented. The issue of future flow to America is also under discussion and could mean more Irish will be allowed to emigrate.
The New York Times reported that a bipartisan consensus has been reached that will allow an estimated 11 million undocumented to become citizens after border security measures are approved.
The bipartisan group is led by Senator Charles Schumer of New York and Senator John McCain of Arizona and includes key senators from both sides.
Senator Schumer stated, “We on the Democratic side have said that we are flexible and we want to get a bill. But there’s a bottom line, and that’s a path to citizenship for the 11 or so million people who qualify. We’ve made great, great progress with our Republican colleagues.”
President Obama is set to unveil his proposals for reform on Tuesday in Las Vegas in what is expected to be the beginning of a major new initiative of his second term.
Senator John McCain, Republican, of Arizona, stated he saw “a new appreciation” among Republicans of the need for an overhaul.
“Look at the last election,” McCain said. “We are losing dramatically the Hispanic vote, which we think should be ours.We can’t go on forever with 11 million people living in this country in the shadows in an illegal status.”
The five page draft is also backed by Senator Marco Rubio, the Florida senator who is seen as a key figure in the debate.
The measure was described in the document as a “tough, fair and practical road map.” Appearing on the Sunday morning shows there was surprising agreement between GOP and Democrats on the issue.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund, “It’s thrilling to see the calls for citizenship from across the political spectrum. While there’s still much to be worked out regarding the requirements and the timeline for those aspiring to be citizens, the debate has taken a clear shift from ‘is immigration reform going to happen’ to ‘what kind of path to citizenship will it include.’ As the dialogue continues to evolve over the coming weeks and months, we will continue to fight to ensure that a clear and simple path to full citizenship is the centerpiece of whatever legislation becomes law.”
Among the Sunday TV shows highlights:
According to a recap by ABC News “Two senators at the center of negotiations over comprehensive immigration reform, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said on Sunday that a pathway to citizenship is an essential component of a comprehensive reform bill.
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