The U.S. Senate has recently passed a major hurdle on the path to immigration reform. With an overwhelming majority of Senators in support of reform, the Senate has passed its own version of a full immigration reform bill that includes a path to citizenship that affects about 11 million undocumented immigrants living illegally in the United States. Unfortunately, members of the House of Representatives don’t seem to see the approval of this bill by the Senate as anything to be celebrated.
House Republicans Unimpressed by Bill
Within the legislative branch of American government, the Senate and the House of Representatives co-exist and are tasked with working together to draft laws. Unfortunately, both chambers of Congress have to agree on a final bill before it can be submitted to the President for approval and signing into law. With the Senate controlled by the Democrats, and the House controlled by the Republicans, hope for a consolidated immigration reform bill anytime in the near future is looking pretty bleak. Speaker of the House John Boehner himself said that his chamber of Congress will likely have a full bill of its own prepared by the end of this year – whether or not Speaker Boehner is able to meet this deadline remains unknown.
Even if his chamber can meet the deadline, the odds that the House’s bill will pass the scrutiny of the Senate are anything but sure. When both chambers of Congress draft their own individual proposals for a bill, the other chamber has to sign on to support the bill or the two bills have to be consolidated. At this point, there is no telling how long it could take for both chambers of Congress to agree on a consolidated bill that is able to please a majority of Senators and Representatives on both sides of the aisle.
A Glimmer of Hope
A plan drafted by Republican Representative from Texas John Carter may be that last glimmer of hope for getting more Republican support in the House behind the Senate approved bill. The provision would require the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country illegally to maintain a decade of legalized status, that would allow the immigrant to receive a work visa, before the previously illegal immigrant could apply for lawful permanent resident status and eventual citizenship.
While very similar to the Senate plan, the fact that this solution originated from a Republican in a Republican controlled chamber may be enough to boost Republican support for the Senate bill. Speaker Boehner remains hard nosed, reiterating that the only way a Senate passed immigration reform bill will make it to the floor of the House for a vote is if a majority of House Republicans show support for it.
For the Most Accurate Information
While the foundation of immigration reform is steadily growing in Congress, it is still unwise to make predictions about what provisions will or won’t be in a final immigration reform bill. If they are wondering how the decision may affect their status in the United States, undocumented immigrants should contact an immigration law attorney for guidance, and should only depend on the advice of an attorney for a matter so important.