The U.S. Immigration Vote: Will it End the Debate?

U.S.-Mexico border fence
U.S.-Mexico border fence

A new bill passed through the Senate but still under debate in the House may solve America’s immigration woes.

by Yatindra Bhatnagar

The United States is, and will always remain, a nation of immigrants. The magnet of opportunity and the hope to succeed will continue draw people from all over the globe. A recent survey has indicated that over 130 million people from far and near want to immigrate to the United States, more than to any other country. The influx has continued both legally and illegally for over two centuries and may well continue forever.

The debate for and against immigration—illegal and also legal—will also never end, but in June, a bipartisan majority of Senators agreed to a new immigration reform bill. The bill passed through the U.S. Senate by a 68-32 vote margin, ending the immigration reform debate in its chamber and moving the debate on to the House, which, at the time of this publication, has yet to approve the bill. The new legislation offers the possibility of citizenship to over 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the country as well as dedicating significant efforts to strengthening the border.

The immigration reform includes a mandatory, national employment verification system; allows for more legal immigration of low- and high-skilled workers; improves border security; and eventually gives Green Cards to most of the nation’s 11 million illegal, or undocumented, immigrants who pass background checks and pay fines.

The bill is making history. The long path to citizenship it introduces for present illegal immigrants ensures their future and takes the first major step in this direction in almost 27 years. In 1986 amnesty was offered to over three million illegal immigrants who got a chance to get Green Cards and eventually citizenship. That was thought at the time to be a sure step to stop the illegal influx, but it failed sadly and miserably. The result, another 11 million undocumented (meaning illegal) immigrants are now being added to the population, creating further incentive for many more to come.

The Senate’s comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill was …

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