US Senators Unveil Immigration Reform Plan

Photo courtesy VOA News
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Photo courtesy VOA News

By Dan Robinson – WHITE HOUSE — A group of eight Democratic and Republican senators unveiled key elements Monday of a proposed compromise to reform the U.S. immigration system.  President Barack Obama will use an event in Nevada on Tuesday to lay out his vision on the issue.

What the Senate lawmakers called “tough but fair” proposals would accomplish key objectives Obama and previous presidents have long supported, including a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States.
The plan specifically links eventual citizenship with future steps to enhance border security. Immigrants seeking a “green card” – the document needed to work legally – would have to satisfy all requirements, such as payment of taxes and any outstanding fines, and demonstrate their English-language ability.
Also included are steps Obama has advocated to boost the U.S. economy, by ending a talent drain in which the children of illegal immigrants who acquired an education and skills – and their parents – are forced to leave the United States.
Press Secretary Jay Carney welcomed the framework, but he declined to discuss legislative timetables or even say if Obama will propose a bill himself.  Carney said conditions appear right for progress.
“He believes that we are at a moment now where there seems to be support coalescing at a bipartisan level behind the very principles that he has long put forward,” he said.
Carney said Obama’s remarks Tuesday in Nevada, a state he won in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections with strong Hispanic and labor union support, will engage Americans in a conversation about the challenge ahead.
Democratic and Republican congressional aides said the Senate plan was deliberately released now to provide political separation from Mr. Obama and demonstrate that Congress is determined to act.
Obama spoke about immigration reform in his second inaugural address.
“Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity, until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country,” he said.
Congressional proposals include further strengthening of border security, steps to prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants and bolstering measures to prevent identity theft.
The Senate plan would give green cards to immigrants who obtain advanced degrees at U.S. universities.  Agricultural workers would be treated differently from other undocumented immigrants.  Employers would be allowed to to hire immigrants if citizens cannot be found.
Calling their framework a first step, senators said a tough fight lies ahead, but that they are confident immigration reform can be achieved despite the sort of opposition that has derailed previous efforts.
Democratic Senator Charles Schumer said,  “We believe this will be the year Congress finally gets it done.  The politics on this issue have been turned upside down.  For the first time ever, there is more political risk in opposing immigration reform than supporting it.”
At the same press conference, Republican Senator John McCain said, “Now we will again attempt to commit the remaining resources needed to secure the border, modernize and streamline our current immigration system, and create a tough but fair path to citizenship for those here illegally.”
Though the bipartisan Senate group includes influential Republicans such as Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a potential 2016 Republican presidential contender, organizations that opposed past reform efforts are not persuaded.
Rosemary Jenks represents NumbersUSA, a group that says the Senate plan is a rehash of past proposals that would offer amnesty for illegal immigrants.
“The problem with amnesty is that if you send the message to the world that, if you can come to the United States illegally and manage to break the law for long enough, we will reward you with amnesty,” she said. “So the message is, ‘Come on in.’”
The chairman of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, Lamar Smith, also calls the new proposals an amnesty.
Despite the display of Senate bipartisanship, John Sides of George Washington University says it is likely to take time for immigration legislation to move forward on Capitol Hill.
“A timeline that ends in March strikes me as pretty ambitious. I don’t think that is because there is not a will to make this happen in Congress. I just think it is a question of the natural slowness [of the legislative process] and the need for different constituencies to buy in,” he said.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, whose members met with Obama last week, called the Senate plan a positive step and expressed hope that Republicans who control the House of Representatives will see it as workable.
The American Civil Liberties Union said the Senate plan could help protect illegal immigrants from exploitation by employers and discourage racial profiling. But the liberal group is concerned about a requirement for an electronic verification system, which it sees as “a thinly disguised national ID requirement” that undermines privacy and imposes new burdens on businesses.





  1. No government including ours has the moral right to restrict the movement of people.The freedom to travel is a fundemental natural right.Americans have no more rights as soverign individuls as non americans.the only thing to do is to remove government control over individual citizens and non-citizens and let the free market decide : that people will come to america for oppurtunities.and it is none of the governments business how they get here or leave or what their activities will be.

  2. I don't care how they slice and dice it, we did this in 1986 when Reagan was hood winked into it by democrats making promises they had no intention of carrying out.
    This proposal would still reward those illegally jumping ahead of a long line of LEGAL immigrants, getting shots, learning the Englais, history, showing a desire to assimilate and not infiltrate. it's not right.

    Oh, shafted, try your idea of free travel in Mexico.

  3. greetings Blue Eyed Devil, One of the points I am trying to bring up as much as possible is the Free Market and the Us Constitution.Under a Free Market(which we don't have,by the way) and our Constitution which is supposed to protect and nurture a Free Market,their would be no Federal Entitlements to anyone in America.Wouldn't need any.There would be no social security,no medicare,no Food Stamp Programs,no Public Education.All these special interest programs are the reason some people cross our border in the first place.all government programs that deal with immigration just takes away from our civil liberties.a good example is TSA at the airports.we don't need any more bureaucracy.another example is the gov't. war on drugs.if we legalize drugs that would also ease our problems at the borders.Let Pure Capitalism do it.we should try it.Keep the corrupt gov't. limited.

    • Yeah, I get it shaft. I can walk down the path of fiscal sanity for miles on end, hand in hand with libertarians like you and Ron Paul, but at the end, there's a fork in the road, and that's where we part company. I agree, we have no free market, it's freer in Communist Hong Kong. I'm a fan of Hayek, Friedman, and Art Laffer, because that did work.
      Other libertarians like Stossel etc. make great fiscal sense, and then they get looney with this legal dope and houses of prostitution and all.

      • My sentiments exactly. Libertarians like the Ron Paul supporters believe if we close all US military bases and Naval ports across the world, there will be peace on earth. And all the Unicorns and Rainbows will bring cheer to us all……

  4. shaftalley- "No government including ours has the moral right to restrict the movement of people."

    Do you know what happened when lots of Germans moved to the USSR on June 21, 1941.

  5. "No government including ours has the moral right to restrict the movement of people."

    Do you know what happened when a lot of Germans moved to Poland on Sept. 1st 1939?

    Or when a whole bunch of North Koreans moved to South Korea on June 25, 1950?

  6. @ Real Deal 36- happy super-bowl sunday! re: "Do you know what happened when a lot of Germans moved to Poland on Sept. 1st 1939?" i don't see the connection between your response and my comment about the movement of people. i'm talking about individual sovereign people(you & me) . it wasn't a bus load of german tourists or migrants looking for a better life that invaded Poland and Soviet was a direct ,illegal,immoral provocation,attack,invasion by a GOVERNMENT represented by an army and Lufthaffe.and i suppose that if these German soldiers as individuals disobyed and tried to move back to Germany,their GOVERNMENT would have executed these individuals by firing squad. the german GOVERNMENT even went so far as restrct the movement of polish and soviet citizens….especially the Jewish people,along with gypsies,homosexuals,etc.

  7. @ Blue-eyed Devil what have you got against prostitutes? i salute them.they are self-employed adults,just minding their own business,trying to make a living.when i was in the Army,in my younger,tender years,me and my buddies hit a lot of whorehouses.and these gals were good decent humans.believed in God and family.a lot of GI's met these gals and fell in love,mutually,married and raised a family.after my military service ,i briefly went to sea as a merchant,talkabout some great times i had with the "local Talent"!!and most of these working girls i was lucky to meet,were sober,clean and sent their money home to their parents,brothers and sisters.and i smoked a ton of dope.

    • If you have ever seen or read anything about the sex trade, it's not as candy coated as you dress it up to be. Most are indentured slaves, repaying a debt to someone else. Would you approve your mother if she wanted to be a prostitute? What would you say if she "worked" your friends bachelor party?

      The Libertarians take such indefensible positions…..

      • Can't you see it now BED? Shaft Alley's mother working all his drug suppliers' bachelor parties with his approval? It makes me wonder if has daughter(s), if he would approve of them being young hookers/sex workers. He might help them make money by making flyers advertising his daughters' services, and splitting the cash.

        You have to love those libertarian stance, which are incredibly indefensible.

  8. Hitler Represented Germany. He was not really elected in 1933 by the people, but appointed to Chancellor by Von Hindenburg, who was elected. Imagine if Obama appointed Van Jones as his successor, no one on the left would complain about it. That's what happened back then. Through time, Hitler gained the confidence of the people that he was to lead the German People to victory over Europe, and then, the rest of the world. The western Powers buried their heads in the sand and pretended nothing was wrong for years. Governments manipulate the media (just look at the ABC CBS CNN NBC kiss Obama's arse every night for proof of this) and the people follow along. Then, the people of Germany invaded Poland by force. Hitler returned to Germany to receive cheers of triumph from the people, Especially after he conquered France. You can see for yourself the German people going wild with ecstasy at the parades in Berlin, throwing flowers at him. What I'm saying is that Germany was a Democracy that ended up with Hitler. Hitler took his position lawfully. He represented his People and the national interest.

    The North Koreans were firmly behind their Leader and Government during the invasion of the South, and still are today.

    It is established international law, when citizens of a foreign country illegally breach a neighboring countries borders and move en messe (2 million a year cross the border to the US from Mexico, and they are citizens of a foreign country)(Hitler invaded 7 Western European Countries with less people) it constitutes an invasion, except for the United States for some reason. If you don't take my word for it, just look up the immigration laws for countries in Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa. Most will be shot on sight. But for some reason, there is a massive double standard applied to the USA.

    • If the Mexicans living in America voted for Republicans as much as they do Democrats, there would be such a wall on the border, as befitting Soviet East Germany.
      If congress legalizes, [pick a number] 11 million illegals, that, I believe would ensure a Democrat president for ever.

      However, remember 1984, Reagan lost the Jewish vote, lost the black vote, lost the Mexican vote, and still had a 49 state landslide.

      • True. I wonder Blue Eyed Devil, why do Republicans think that the Hispanic vote will go towards Republicans if they would vote to legalize 11 million illegals? (BTW, if my research is accurate, the Democrats back then said there were something like 1 million illegals, then when Amnesty was granted, 3 million showed up. Do you think 11 million is a low ball number?)

        No doubt, illegal Aliens even if granted Amnesty and voting rights, will remain low information voters, who will vote for who ever gives them free stuff from the public treasury.

  9. Rea Deal 36- my father was drafted during the Korean war.he was assigned as a combat engineer.when his unit actually got to Yalu river (on the border with china) they were supposed to build pontoon bridges for Mccarthur's "invasion" of Manchuria.Chairman Mao said screw that and had his Red army invade got nasty for my dad's unit and they had to retreat.he was wounded.he was sent to a Mash unit in Incheon,but he was shot up so bad they medivaced(on a troop ship) to Camp Zama,Japan.after his recuperation and therapy,he went into town,outside the base and met my mom to be. she was a "dance hall girl" that's right, a dad a lonely GI and my dearest mother a whore.they fell in love.they married and I was born in 1952 in japan.God Bless my Mother and Father.I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters.

  10. That's a neat story. Respect to your father and mother. I'm interested to see if you have a reply to the things I brought up though.

    Why did the UN think it had the moral right to restrict the movement of people? (North Koreans moving to South Korea?)

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