The passage of Immigration reform 2013 in the Senate is a big leap forward. But news reports suggest that Boehner may kill the bill in Congress
The celebrations are continuing following the passage of immigration bill from the US Senate. The bill has been passed after high voltage debate that continued for weeks and looked like breaking down mid-way on many occasions. But the celebrations may look like to have come far too early as there is most daunting part of the bill awaiting it.
The bill is set to go to the Congress and everyone knows how hostile they are against the bill. The top Republican leaders have said that they don’t want the bill to be passed in its latest form. They want to make major changes in the bill that will destroy its basic features making it almost useless to many of the immigrants.
The worst their proposal will do will to create a sort of citizenry who will have half citizenship rights in the US compared to the rest of the citizens. Given the fact that the United States has been built by immigrants from across the world, the hostility of the Republicans towards immigrants is very incomprehensible.
Immediately after the immigration reform bill was cleared by Senate that is dominated by Democrats, the leader of the House of Representatives announced on top of his voice that the measure was dead on arrival in the House. To be true, House Speaker John Boehner completely changed the atmosphere of celebration into despair not just for the millions of immigrants, but even for Democrat leaders and those Republican leaders who have been supportive of the immigration reforms. “Immigration reform has to be grounded in real border security”, Boehner said.
There is no doubt that now the biggest obstacle in the way of immigration reform bill is Boehner and his party. The bigger issue is that of the Congress where Republicans enjoy mammoth majority over democrats and most of the republican leaders in the Congress have repeatedly expressed their opposition to the immigration law bill that will allow the eleven million illegal immigrants the legal citizens of the US with some strings attached. To be true, most Republican leaders –the latest being Rand Paul –have expressed their complete opposition to immigration law and have said that they will never allow it to be passed.
Nonetheless there are reasons to believe that things will start turning in the favour of the bill if Federal government assures Republicans of better security measures at the border. In a landmark decision, that has solved the worries of several million people, the U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill that would allow the nation’s 11 million unauthorized immigrants to become U.S. citizens. With this bill apart from overhauling the country’s immigration system the government would have to spend billions to secure the southwest border with Mexico to prevent any unauthorized immigration. The bill that failed to see the light of the day from past several years, despite being argued upon in the initial years was finally cleared with a thumping majority of 68-32 votes in the Senate, that had posed the biggest hurdle in its first step. The bill that was drafted by a bipartisan group of senators known as the Gang of Eight, has ushered in the biggest change in immigration laws since 1986. The victory that is being hailed as major success for the Obama administration was opposed by the Republicans whose leadership of the House of Representatives had already indicated the bill will not get a vote in that chamber.
President Obama has tried to placate the Republican leaders towards passing the bill, but without any major success so far. During one of his speeches, talking about the immigration reform bill, U.S. President Barack Obama said: “This bill isn’t perfect. And going forward, nobody is going to get everything that they want – not Democrats, not Republicans, not me. But this is a bill that’s largely consistent with the principles that I .. have laid out for common-sense reform. So if you’re serious about actually fixing the system, then this is the vehicle to do it.” It may be recalled that following the 1986 law that was signed by the then President Reagan had allowed three million immigrants to become citizens even as it had failed to secure the border. Since then, taking advantage of the porous southwest border, millions of undocumented immigrants have entered the U.S. For so many years since then though nothing concrete was done States like Arizona, Alabama and Georgia began tackling the problem on their own in recent years, passing laws to crack down on unauthorized immigrants. The creation of the Gang of Eight, which drafted the bill and shepherded it through the Senate came after 2012 elections, when Mitt Romney garnered only 27% of the Hispanic vote. This may finally turn Republicans opposition in its favour.