USA senators move ahead on new immigration plan

Published:  28 Jan at 6 PM
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After seemingly endless wrangling and confusion, it seems that the long-awaited overhaul of the US immigration system may finally move a few steps forward.

An afternoon press conference will take place Monday, during which a deal involving a bipartisan group of senators will be announced. Agreement has been reached on a framework for the overhaul, with the plan addressing border security, the checking of workers’ immigration status by employers, a more streamlined immigration process and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

President Obama is due to outline his plan during his Las Vegas speech on Tuesday, and the next few months are expected to see more Congressional wrangling and disagreements. However, the result of the bipartisan committee’s deliberations would seem to suggest that the overhaul and legalisation of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the USA may finally be on the right road.

The group of senators comprised four Democrats and four Republicans, including Senator John McCain, who is reported to have concerns about his party’s dramatic loss of Hispanic votes which, he believes, may have lost the Republicans the last election. The five-page draft of the agreement contains a comprehensive bill addressing the majority of legislators’ concerns and includes triggers which must be met before the next stages take place.

The proposal also notes that illegal immigrants who arrived as children will be exempted from the formal immigration process for undocumented immigrants, and illegal workers in the agricultural sector will also be given a different form of process. The draft proposal states that undocumented agricultural sector workers who in effect feed the nation by their efforts will be processed differently than other undocumented immigrants.
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