Legislative Update: Immigration Reform Bill Passes the Senate
By Rachel L. West, MSW, LMSW
The Political Social Worker
The US Senate passed the Immigration Reform bill (S. 744) by a vote of 68-32. According to Politico 14 Republican Senators crossed the aisle to support the bill’s passage (source: Politico).
The bill doesn’t please everyone, but its passage is a victory for those who have been working on the issue for years and watched immigration reform fail six years ago. It addresses 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. The path to citizenship is long — likely 13 years or more — and arduous, but advocates are thrilled that it would exist at all, given opposition from many Republicans and the failure of bills to carve out such a path in the past. Dreamers, young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, would be able to earn green cards in five years, as would some agricultural workers. (source: Huffingtonpost)
While not perfect, this is the closest an immigration reform bill has come to being signed into law in years. The question now is will the bill make it through the GOP controlled House?
You can watch the debate and passage here on C-SPAN.