Immigration Reform Bill on anvil is a welcome news. A bipartisan group of senators, known as the “Gang of Eight,” has apparently worked in close cooperation for months now and the reports emanating suggest there is an agreement on specific border security provisions in the legislation which are likely to be released in the next few days. Obviously, the senators have concluded that the border security must come first and the question of amnesty for 11 million odd undocumented aliens must follow it.
According to the information available with us the legislation would call for surveillance of 100 percent of the U.S. border with Mexico and apprehension of 90 percent of people trying to cross in certain high-risk areas. People living here illegally could begin to get green cards in 10 years but only if a new southern border security plan is in place, employers have adopted mandatory electronic verification of their workers’ legal status and a new electronic exit system is operating at airports and seaports.
The contours of the tough new border security plans emerged as senators moved closer to unveiling sweeping legislation that would put some 11 million immigrants living here illegally on a path to citizenship and allow tens of thousands of high- and low-skilled workers into the country on new visa programs, in addition to securing the border.
Lawmakers and aides said all the major elements were about complete. A final deal was near on a new visa for agriculture workers. There were small details to be dealt with on visas for high-tech workers, but Sen. Dick Durbin, DIll., said it wasn’t enough to hold up the bill.
“We are closer now than we have been in 25 years for serious immigration reform,” Durbin told reporters Wednesday after he and other Democrats in the Senate negotiating group briefed members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “This president is behind it, and there is a strong, growing bipartisan effort in the Senate to support it. We hope that the House will do the same.”
Support for an immigration reform has also come from Facebook Chief Mark Zuckerberg who said the U.S. needs to fix a “strange” immigration policy that prevents promising but undocumented students from contributing to the country’s future and doesn’t provide enough visas for foreign workers with advanced skills.
“We have a strange immigration policy for a nation of immigrants. And it’s a policy unfit for today’s world,” the 28- year-old founder of the world’s largest Internet social network said in an opinion column in The Washington Post on Thursday, April 11.
The Gang of Eight hopes to introduce a piece of legislation very soon. However, it remains to be seen how fast the Senate and the House move on it.