Immigration Reform 2013: Obama Speaks On Leaked Bill; Senators Debate Federal ID Card For All Workers
Although leaked, President Obama’s discusses his Immigration reform. He believes it won’t hurt talks on the reform. Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, several key legislators are looking into the possibility of an immigration bill that would force every U.S. worker to carry a high-tech ID card that could use fingerprints or other markings to determine a person legal status.
Too often, in this highly politicized, highly polarized society, we approach questions through the lenses of politics or economics, job security, family concerns, security concerns – and these things become the categories and lenses through which we approach a particular question. And in addition, too often our thinking is by the pundits – what does Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, or Rachel Maddow or some other person that we listen to say and think about a particular issue.
Prosperous nations such as the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom will always attract immigrants that are in search for a better life. The problem is that many immigrants do not follow the proper immigration channels. The United States has an illegal immigration problem as immigrants enter the country illegally by crossing the border between the United States and Mexico, or they enter legally but overstay their visas. The United States Immigration Reform is specifically targeting the problem of 12 to 20 million undocumented workers in the United States.
On January 28, 2013, a bi-partisan group of eight Senators announced principles for comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). The Senators involved include: Chuck Schumerof New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Bob Menendez of New Jersey, and Michael Bennet of Colorado, and Republicans John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Jeff Flake of Arizona.
The policies envisioned by the Senators include the following provisions:
- A citizenship path for undocumented immigrants already in the United States contingent on certain border security and visa tracking improvements. The plan provides for permanent residence for undocumented immigrants only after legal immigrants waiting for a current priority date receive their permanent residence status and a different citizenship path for agricultural workers through an agricultural worker program.
- Business immigration system reforms, focusing on reducing current visa backlogs and fast tracking permanent residence for U.S. university immigrant graduates with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or math also known as the STEM fields.
- An expanded and improved employment verification system for all employers to confirm employee work authorization.
- Improved work visa options for low-skill workers including an agricultural worker program.
As mention President Obama has his administration’s effort for immigration reform. I hope that our country will find a way to common ground on immigration, which is currently tearing us apart.