An Overview of US Immigration Reform: How is it progressing?

An Overview of US Immigration Reform: How is it progressing?

An Overview of US Immigration Reform: How is it progressing?

Although the hurdles for immigration reform are numerous, support from conservative members of congress is a ‘promising sign’.

The debate over immigration reform may have been dwarfed temporarily by coverage of the sequestration as a symptom of Washington dysfunction, but the issue has certainly not disappeared. In fact, the immigration reform bill is moving steadily forward.

Last month, the US Chamber of Commerce came to an agreement with the AFL-CIO (The American Federation of Labour and Congress of Industrial Organizations) on managing the entry of low-skilled workers in the USA, which cleared an important pathway for immigration reform. Another key signifier was brought about by Scott Walker, the firebrand conservative governor of Wisconsin, who publicised that he was in favour of a comprehensive reform.

Walker has joined the growing ranks of conservative voices in support of, or indicating that they’re amenable to a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, including Senator Rand Paul, Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Marco Rubio and numerous others. This growing chorus of consensus from conservative representatives sings the best hope yet for the passage of a comprehensive reform bill.

Starting on a different foot in 2013

The debate this year has led to conservative leaders already in favour of reform to be joined by bipartisan ‘gangs’ both in the Senate and the White House, creating a strong DREAMer movement and network. A new union of church leaders, law enforcement and business interest are all trumpeting the positive movement towards this immigration bill.

Still a way to go

This is not to say that the anti-immigration frame of mind has disappeared entirely. Border security and law itself are still prevailing concerns amongst the majority of House members and constituents, many of whom consider a path to citizenship as being just as extreme as mass deportation.

Steps Forward

Although there is still a way to go and many obstacles to overcome, some support from the conservative wing of the Republican Party is a promising sign of progress, as long as Congress are able to pass a bill before the August break, the chance of reform is real.

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