The Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill was strengthened by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate will vote on the bill, in June. This bill is likely to receive full support in the Senate that is controlled by the Democrats. Similarly, President Obama is also supporting the bill. Nevertheless, the bill must be passed by the House and the bill will be introduced to the House after the Senate passes it. Only after the House passes the bill, President Obama will approve the bill and sign it into law.
Many are now wondering whether the House dominated by the Republicans will support the Senate immigration reform bill and will the bill pass the House. Generally, Republicans are against unauthorized immigration and they do not want to grant the undocumented immigrants, legal status in America. Hence, they are likely to oppose the provision of the bill that would legalize the country’s undocumented immigrants. They feel that it is amnesty and that it is not right to permit the lawbreakers to live in the country. According to them, immigration reform would boost unauthorized immigration.
Nevertheless, the Democrats may not support a bill that does not include a path to US citizenship for the nation’s undocumented immigrants. The bill that has been passed by the Judiciary Committee would legalize undocumented immigrants who came to America before 1st January, 2012. Immigrants applying for legal status would be required to submit a variety of supporting documents, undergo criminal checks and pay fines. Initially, immigrants who have maintained clean criminal records and who are eligible for lawful status would be granted Registered Provisional Immigrant Status, that would be valid for a six year period. Immigrants in this temporary status could apply for permanent resident status after 10 years. The final step is US citizenship and they can apply for citizenship status, three years after obtaining Green Cards.
Though the Republicans were initially against immigration reform, some from that party are now supporting immigration reform as they believe that their support would win them more Hispanic votes. Nevertheless, the Republicans are crafting a different bill and their bill might include more visas for high skilled workers and might prevent undocumented immigrants from obtaining US citizenship. However, many claim that immigration reform may not exclude the pathway to US citizenship.