Immigration reform is becoming one of the more contentious issues now entering Washington’s political arena, as a new congressional session commences and as President Obama kicks off his second term. Of course, so-called immigration reform comprises a broad array of beliefs that have led to a persistent clash among Republican and Democratic lawmakers, which will likely shift some weight away from the economy toward the millions of illegal immigrants residing in America.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is now laying an uncompromising provision on any immigration reform proposals — and that is, without a path to citizenship, no legislation will come to the table. “There will be nothing done in my Senate [on immigration reform] without a pathway to citizenship,” the Nevada Democrat told the Las Vegas Sun late last week.
“We have spent a huge amount of money on border security, and both our northern and southern borders are more secure,” Reid explained. “Frankly, Mexico is doing much better economically, and that has helped the issue a lot. We can’t build a fence of 3,000 miles because no matter how high we build it, they can build a ladder taller than that fence. So I think we have about expended our energy on border security.”
Reid may be correct that illegal immigration has slowed in 2012, but few experts would attribute the slowing mainly to an increasingly secure border. Most sources mainly attribute it to a weak American economy, especially since about half of illegal immigrants arrive on short-term visas and then overstay their visas.
The Senate Majority Leader says legislation relating to immigration reform is one of top two issues for this congressional session, as he works alongside Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on a bipartisan slate of principles to bolster the looming debate that they plan to ignite by the end of the month.
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