Working Together

While the threat of a volatile economy looms over America, President Obama and a committee of 8 senators, consisting of 4 Democrats and 4 Republicans, have begun to push his policies of immigration reform. The principles in the Senate proposal include a path to citizenship, revamping the way immigrants come to the United States legally, boosting ways employers can verify the legal status of workers, and allowing more low-skill workers to come into the country. There are, however, differences between Obama’s vision of reform and the Senate Committee’s. An Associated Press article indicates that, “Obama’s proposal calls for a pathway to citizenship for many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. The senators’ plan would grant “probationary legal status” immediately to eligible undocumented immigrants, but would not allow them to apply for permanent legal status, or a green card, until the border is deemed to be secure. Think of that as a trigger system.”

Senators from both parents are coming together to work on a bipartisan deal to fix America’s immigration system. Source: Brent D. Payne

Even though there are significant differences to be accounted for, Obama is expected to push for negotiations on the issue of immigration reform. However, experts indicate that this process might take a long time. As Sam Stein and Elise Foley of the Huffington Post point out, White House policies may be idealistic, and “turning them into law could be a long process.” However, the same article also indicates that the “bipartisan group of senators are already working on a deal.” As part of the election, Republicans conceded that they would be willing to work on a deal, and experts indicate that it will be hard for Republicans to forget their post-election promises to work on a bill, which means that the bill might actually get passed.

While many view immigration reform as only a question of morality, Chris Farrell of Bloomberg Businessweek indicates that “comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s immigration system…would give a boost to the economy’s underlying dynamism.” Moreover, a complete overhaul of the system would lead to increased competition and in turn it would trigger economic growth. One third of US patented innovations are accounted for by newcomers to this country, and experts indicate that overall reform would attract more innovators to the nation. Already, in the high-tech sector, people who study here are forced to leave due to flawed immigration policy, and reform could lead to retaining such invaluable assets.

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