According to several prominent members of the House of Representatives, border security is at the top of the list of priorities when it comes to overhauling immigration in America, but the current immigration reform bill proposed by the Senate lacks enough provisions within itself to strengthen the border, Republicans say, to pass House scrutiny.
Two Chambers, One Bill
In the United States, the government consists of three branches of government. The legislative branch, which is responsible for making laws, consists of two separate but equally important chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate. The two are unique from one another in that the Senate consists of an equal number of Senators from each state, while the House consists of Representatives assigned to represent constituents based on population, with more populated states getting more Representatives in the House.
For a bill to become a law, both chambers of Congress must come up with a single bill that can pass a vote from both chambers. In many cases, both chambers will vote on a single bill submitted by one chamber, but when issues are as polarizing as immigration reform, both chambers retain the right to come up with their own proposal bills which would then become consolidated into a single bill. This is where the nation stands at the moment – the Senate Judiciary Committee has already proposed a full version of a bill which will be voted on by the whole Senate sometime in the near future. The House of Representatives, on the other hand, is still in the early stages of a draft bill proposal which will eventually be voted on by the entire House.
Once the Senate and the House agree on and vote on a bill, the bill will be sent to the President for a signature to be signed into law. If the President does not wish to sign the bill into law, which many believe won’t happen because of the President’s prior comments on the issue, then the bill can be sent back to Congress where Congress can pass the bill into law without the President’s signature by gaining a 2/3rd Congressional majority of support.
No Changes Yet
With all the talk in Washington regarding immigration reform, it might be confusing to make heads or tails of where an immigration reform bill will land, but until a final bill is passed into law, the laws on immigration in the United States will remain as they are.
Individuals with questions on the progress of immigration reform or immigration laws as they currently stand, particularly if they are trying to come to or remain in the United States, should contact experienced immigration legal counsel for answers to their questions. An immigration attorney is the only person who should be depended on for advice on the matter, because immigration attorneys regularly study and review immigration laws in order to stay in business. Getting information from anyone else on the issue could result in the delivery of wrong or outdated information, which could have drastic consequences for the foreign citizen or immigrant.