The U.S. Congress has now wrapped up its session and has left for its holiday break. Though the House did not consider the bill that the Senate has approved, the immigration reform movement has achieved some victories in 2013.
Earlier, immigration activists and the undocumented immigrants alone were in favor of immigration reform. But now, a majority of Americans support comprehensive immigration reform. Around 63 percent of Americans want the country to put undocumented immigrants who meet the requirements, on a path to citizenship.
President Obama implemented deferred action in 2012 and granted the DREAMers, between ages 15 and 31, a temporary relief from deportation and employment authorization. Likewise, this year he implemented certain policies. One of the policies prevents the immigration authorities from deporting immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are military personnel. Another policy permits the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who entered into America under the Visa Waiver Program and who fell out of status, to apply for permanent resident cards (green cards) in America.
11 American states have passed legislations that allow the undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses. Likewise, three states have passed laws that permit the immigrants who are out of status to apply for in-state tuition. Connecticut and California have also limited deportations of undocumented immigrants, who do not have criminal records, by signing the Trust Act.
Courts in the U.S. have blocked certain state anti-immigrant laws. According to Pew, the use of the phrase “illegal alien” has dropped and people are now using the phrase “undocumented immigrants”. Americans on the whole have become more tolerant of immigrants and immigration.
Most of the Republicans in the House were earlier against immigration reform. Now many of them have joined the call for U.S. citizenship. Immigration activists now believe that the House Republicans will pass a comprehensive bill for immigration reform in 2014. Several immigration activists are pushing the members of the House to pass the Senate bill. Lawmakers from both the political parties have stated that immigration reform will be passed in 2014.