The House of Representatives, in an effort to come up with its own bill to overhaul immigration in the United States, has recently depended on its own “Gang of Eight” to lay the groundwork. The Senate had its own Gang of Eight, a bipartisan group of Senators tasked with drafting a proposal bill to overhaul America’s immigration system, but the Senate group has since been disbanded and a final version of the Senate’s bill proposal has already passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and is waiting on a full vote from the entire Senate in the near future. While Senate leaders admitted that not every politician got exactly what they wanted out of the bill, they conceded that the bill is a major step forward in terms of improving immigration in America.
Problems in the House
Unfortunately, the House’s Gang of Eight has been unable to compromise as well as the Senate’s did. In fact, one member of the House of Representatives’ Gang of Eight, Republican Representative Raul Labrador, has walked away from the group, citing policy disagreements. The straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, was a provision in the proposal which would have extended health care to undocumented workers. According to Labrador’s office, the Representative plans on introducing a legislative proposal of his own, which would presumptively be proposed alongside the House’s Gang of Eight’s proposal
Two Bills Must Become One
For anyone who might be a little confused about all the talk of bills coming out of Congress, this should clear things up. Both chambers of Congress, the Senate and the House, are allowed to come up with their own proposals for bills, but in order for one check from either chamber to become law, the check must be approved by both chambers. In cases where both chambers draft their own proposals to a single issue, the bills will have to be consolidated so that a final check can pass a full Congressional vote. Only after both chambers are able to agree on a final bill, and after the final bill is voted on and passed by a Congressional majority, can the bill be sent to the President who can sign the bill into law, refuse to sign the bill, or veto the check. If the President refuses to sign the bill, or if the President vetos it, the bill can be sent back to Congress where, if it can pass with a 2/3rd majority, will become law without the President’s approval.
So far, the President has stated that he will support Congress if it is able to come up with a comprehensive plan to reform immigration in America if both chambers are able to come up with a compromise on the issues. If the President keeps his word, then the only major roadblock on the road to reform is getting both sides of the aisle in both chambers of Congress to agree on a compromise.
For the most up to date information on the progress of immigration reform in America, and for advice on immigration laws as they currently stand, only an experienced immigration attorney should be contacted for advice.