One of the biggest challenges facing so-called comprehensive immigration reform in the United States is the issue of determining what would be the resultant legal status of immigrants who are currently in the country. The two sides of the debate largely fall along ideological lines, with more liberal thinkers wanting a “path to citizenship,” and more conservative thinkers opposed to the idea. With upwards of 14 million people living in the U.S. illegally, it is unthinkable that the issue could be solved by deportation alone. Considering even a strategy which relies heavily on deporting millions of people is unrealistic, the first signs of conservative suggestion that legalization is needed may be the catalyst for a movement towards a true solution.
High ranking congressman Kevin McCarthy of California has indicated in a recent interview that undocumented immigrants may be given a legal status in any immigration deal, but that full citizenship is off the table. McCarthy, the Majority Whip in the U.S. House of Representatives, and third in line in House leadership, suggested that the immigrants would be able to work and pay taxes legally under the proposal.
Opponents to McCarthy’s ideas have suggested that such a proposal may cost him his seat in the House. They have reportedly began discussing the idea of sponsoring a primary challenger for McCarthy’s House seat, a move meant to promote someone more in line with their own views of how the situation should be handled. Those who oppose legalization of illegal immigrants, even when full citizenship is off the table, have a variety of reasons for doing so. One of the most popular rationales cited is that the United States is a country of laws, and those who have broken the law simply cannot be allowed to get away without penalty. For this reason many opponents of legalization label it “amnesty.”
It appears that there may finally be some movement in getting a true immigration reform package together, one that may finally put much of the uncertainty surrounding the issue behind us. But the United States is a large and complex country, and there will always be a need for immigrants to seek advice from legal professionals. If you or someone you know needs help with an immigration issue, contact the Austin immigration lawyer at the Lyttle Law firm by going to our website, or calling us at (512) 215-5225