Push For Immigration Reform
Bill S.744, the Border Security, Eco-nomic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, was passed in the Senate on June 27, 2013. However, it has yet to be deliberated by the House of Representatives.
According to the Huffington Post on Nov. 16, 2013, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) confirmed that immigration reform would not happen in 2013. “We have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill,” Boehner declared to reporters.
The senate bill S.744 includes provisions to address undocumented immigrants, legal immigration, border security, employer hiring, and an entry-exit system, so the government knows if foreign nationals leave the country when their visa expires.
Moreover, citizenship would take 13 years or more, and undocumented immigrants and agricultural workers would be able to earn green cards in five years.
The bill adds border security and prevents green card status for undocumented immigrants until the government deploys 20,000 additional border agents, mandates E-Verify to prevent businesses from hiring unauthorized workers, completes a 700-mile border fence, and adds to entry-exit systems to track whether foreign nationals overstay their visas, according to the Huffington Post.
News sources have been circulating that the immigration reform effort is dead, yet on Nov. 14, 2013, House Republican Jeff Denham (R-Calif), was the first GOP House member to sign on to the Democratic-led bill, and since then, three more representatives are expected to come out with their support during the next week. Additionally, they are trying to get 40 to 45 additional members to sign a letter to Boehner showing the overwhelming Republican support for the bill.
Denham had harsh words for both political parties, but he ultimately stated, “You’re elected to be a leader. Then lead,” Denham reminded to fellow members of Congress. “Show us what you’re for, show us what you don’t like, but we’ve got to come to a resolution that makes sense for the entire country, and we need to have a debate in front of the American public,” Denham proclaimed.