President supports committee for immigration reform

by Dillon Mack news editor

illustration by Ray Leal

On Monday, Feb. 11, an eight-member, bipartisan senatorial committee announced a plan for immigration reform that includes many of the plans President Obama supported during his election campaign. According to Foxnews.com, “[The] blueprint … calls for, among other things, a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the United States.” The article goes on to report that, “An Obama administration official tells Fox News the senators’ plan is on a trajectory that mirrors Obama’s immigration plan almost exactly, and that the White House is willing to let the group take the lead.”

The committee is made up of four members from each party. According to an article on CNN.com, the group comprises Democrats Chuck Schumer of New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado; and Republicans John McCain of Arizona, Marco Rubio of Florida, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona. Ashley Parker, reporter for The New York Times, states on NYtimes.com, “Democratic and Republican senators alike had feared that any White House proposal could undercut their efforts by frightening away Republican lawmakers skittish about backing Mr. Obama’s plan.”

Based on a document released on Jan. 28, the same New York Times article reports that the group seeks to accomplish four main goals: providing a “tough but fair” path to citizenship on the condition that there are tighter borders; shifting current legal immigration drastically in order to provide more green cards for those pursuing advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math from American universities; putting better employee verification systems in place to keep a closer eye on employers who are illegally employing undocumented immigrants; and creating a guest worker program for jobs that Americans don’t want or can’t do.

In the CNN article, Marco Rubio notes that there is a larger picture for making a new immigration policy, but said, None of this is possible if we don’t address the reality there are 11 million people in this country who are undocumented.”

Though many are enthusiastic about the bi-partisan committee, some Republicans are still wary of a plan that provides complete amnesty to illegal immigrants. Republican representative Lamar Smith of Texas is quoted in the CNN article saying, “When you legalize those who are in the country illegally, it costs taxpayers millions of dollars, costs American workers thousands of jobs and encourages more illegal immigration.” As reported in the New York Times article, Schumer states, “We still have a long way to go, but this bipartisan movement is a major breakthrough.”

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This piece is considered a “standard” article in our print edition.
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