Bipartisan immigration reform bill makes it to full Senate

Bipartisan immigration reform bill makes it to full Senate

Bipartisan immigration reform bill makes it to full Senate

Slewed slightly to the political right to attract Republican votes, the controversial US immigration reform bill is now heading for the senate floor.

The centrepiece of the proposed legislation, the 13-year ‘road to citizenship’ for the majority of the 11 million illegals in the US, has survived intact and may emerge as the most significant victory in decades for those committed to immigrant rights. A last minute deal on increased access to hi-tech visas swung the result to 13 against 5 in the final meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee, with all Democrats voting in favour.

Those against the legalising of immigrants already living in the US have been clearly losing their fight, as evidenced by the number of Republicans revising their views in the early stages. The bill is due to be debated by the full Senate from early June onwards, with the country’s pack of legislators expected to live in interesting times until the final vote.

The parade of complicated political trade-offs witnessed so far may be just a preamble to the serious business of completing what will be the most significant change in US immigration legislation since President Reagan’s immigration reform !986. Even the most recalcitrant Senators and congressmen must realise that times have changed beyond recognition, and that the move must be taken to ensure the economy’s full recovery.

Canada, Australia and now New Zealand are targeting highly skilled tech experts in Silicon Valley and elsewhere who are having problems with long-stay visas, hoping to hoover up their skills on a promise of guaranteed long-term residency. The buzzword is that the three countries are open for business and prepared to deal to get the best.

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