Formal filing of US Immigration Reform Bill sparks intense debate

Formal filing of US Immigration Reform Bill sparks intense debate

Formal filing of US Immigration Reform Bill sparks intense debate

The long-awaited and somewhat delayed bipartisan Senate immigration bill was finally filed early this morning, and is already causing controversy and disagreement.

President Obama, whilst admitting the bill is a compromise which awards no single group all it wants, is already urging the Senate to review it quickly and move it forward. The 844-page document contains the most far-reaching changes to US immigration law for decades and is focusing on the economic benefits of attracting skilled migrants.

The controversial amnesty proposals for immigrants who have arrived in the country without documentation are being heavily criticised by Republicans, with a number of left-wing groups describing it as unnecessarily punitive. Civil liberties and faith-based advocacy groups are already calling for changes to the stringent requirements of the so-called ‘path to citizenship’.

The president, in a speech Tuesday, stated that border security would be strengthened and employers held accountable if they knowingly hired illegal workers. He stressed that the bill would attract highly-skilled workers and entrepreneurs willing to create jobs and grow the economy as well as allowing families to be legally reunited.

Obama promised the American people that he would do all this is necessary to ensure that immigration reform is a reality in the near future. Senator McCain, speaking later yesterday, told the press that the legal process is in its early stages, and will involve debates, amendments and hearings before it is ready to be passed.

He added that he’s confident of its final approval as all the major players are now in support of its content. Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Anthony D. Romero, admits the bill is a breakthrough, but is cautious about the roadmap to citizenship as he considers it unfair to those who can’t afford heavy fines.

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