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Will 2013 Be the Year the U.S. Immigration System Is Finally Fixed?

A bipartisan group of eight senators and the president appear to be working toward that goal.

Millions of people who are currently living in the shadows after illegally immigrating to the United States could begin a path to finally getting legal status in the United States. That is, if a new bipartisan effort at immigration reform is accepted.

A compromise plan was announced Monday by a group of eight U.S. senators and immediately generated headlines for its forgiveness of undocumented workers who do not have criminal records and the new crackdowns that would be implemented, CNN Politics reported. This was followed up Tuesday with a speech in Las Vegas by President Barack Obama on the same issue.

The main difference appears to be in the focus. While both plans eventually clear a way to citizenship for the reported 11 million illegal immigrants in the country, the president's intent is more on fast-tracking that part of the plan. The senators' plan puts a stronger focus on first securing the border. The senators, in their proposal, said they aim "to secure the border, modernize and streamline our current legal immigration system, while creating a tough but fair legalization process for individuals who are currently here."

Border controls would be tightened — including the use of drones to patrol the U.S.-Mexico border — and there would be more effort to prevent the hiring of undocumented workers. Read the plan here.

Critics, however, are concerned by the failure to address the enormous backlog in legal family-unity immigration. Obama, however, touched on that, although briefly, in his speech.

"We’ve got to bring our legal immigration system into the 21st century because it no longer reflects the realities of our time," Obama said. "For example, if you are a citizen, you shouldn’t have to wait years before your family is able to join you in America."

There were about 11.2 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. in 2010, according to a Pew Research Hispanic report. Conservative leaders have said they are trying to create a modern immigration system, as well as woo back Latino voters.

The immigration reform package must first pass the Senate, then be considered by the House.

Will these efforts result in immigration legislation this year that will eventually fix the immigration system? And is this fair to the immigrants who waited, or are still waiting, their turns for legal visas and green cards?

thcooper69 February 12, 2013 at 05:41 AM
back in tha 80's when there wher no mex illegals around a common ditch digger could make 25.00 an hour ,house framers where makin 5.75 a ft ,when mex illegals shown up .it beacme a struggel for soon to be obama voters ,where thay couldnt even make 5 dollas an hour diggin a ditch and 5.75 a ft dropped to 1.00 a ft in some areas because there were so many illegals ..kmart carried numerios chinese and jap goods and many northern factorys started closing because they couldnt compeate . but when reagan wrote and crafted nafta he wouldnt sign it ,but bill clinton did {a democrat ] knowing full well it would benifit his friends and lobyist behind big business and that it would kill off the unions and the american manufacturing industry ,by allowing foreign governments to use slave labor to mass produce anything and then sell it here in america with little or no excise tax as if the product was mass produced here .and now what u have is chicago and providence ri . two of the largest illegal latino communtys in america and obama voters down and out walkin tha skreets beggin fo spare change and have no CLUE as to how all this happened .during the election THAY blamed the romney types for this and idiolized obama .but the troofs is obama knows yet chooses to do nuffins his policys wont help them essentialy in tha end ans big money lobyist still run dc and spell out tha doom for the obama voter class on tha horizon
Kenneth Stepp February 12, 2013 at 11:01 AM
Nathan This is a complicated issue that has become impossible to fix because politicians are tasked with fixing it. Laws must be followed, but current laws need to be rewritten. There seems to be two opinions. Let all of them here illegally stay, or send them all back. Both are wrong. Logic, compassion, and realistic goals are needed here.
Good Grief Y'all February 12, 2013 at 12:22 PM
@Coop, how much longer does it take you to manufacturer your words than writing in plain English? How much longer does it take for a reader to decipher them? Too long. Sorry, couldn't get through it.
Karsten Torch February 12, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Found something we agree on, GGY....
Good Grief Y'all February 12, 2013 at 03:19 PM
Haha, Karsten! Cause for a mini celebration, huh? Oops, that was supposed to be manufacture. Hate misspellings, especially when correcting a misspeller :D

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