A Democratic Immigration bill, which is meant to clarify the nation’s immigration situation, is garnering some Republican support in the House of Representatives. But it still lacks a considerable number of the votes needed to pass. This bill could possibly grant 12 million immigrants in the US a path to citizenship, attract more high-tech workers, and double the size of the Border Patrol.
Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., a son of Portuguese immigrants, co-sponsored the bill on Wednesday. He was the third Republican, after Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and Jeff Denham, R-Calif., to give his support in Congress. According to Valadao’s interview with USA TODAY, his decision was greatly affected by the fact that his district is 72% Hispanic. Also, he said that the pacing of immigration legislation, meant to solve the nation’s immigration issues, has been too slow.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., proposed a bill in the Senate over the summer, which passed. But he has now questioned if his bill was indeed the best way forward. Rubio was one of the Senate bill’s architects, which according to his spokesman Alex Conant, took an “all or nothing” approach in the Senate. Other House Republican leaders said that they prefer taking a “piecemeal” approach to move forward, in which small bills are created to face each of the immigration challenges of the nation.
A handful of bills that answer issues about border security, enforcement powers of the local and state police officers, immigration status checking for new hires, and increasing in the number of visas for high-tech workers have been signed by various House committees. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, claims that he is hopeful that an immigration bill will be approved by the House before the year ends.
On the other hand, Rep. Joe Garcia, R-Fla, has sponsored another bill, called H.R. 15, which is basically the same as the Senate’s immigration bill. But one notable difference is the fact that it excludes an expensive border control plan, which has been pegged at costing $46 billion. His new bill replaced the border appropriations with a different border security plan, a plan which was proposed Congressman Michael McCaul. This bill has already received unanimous approval by the House Homeland Security Committee. Garcia hopes that his bill gets to the point where the House will bring it to the floor for a vote.
The United States immigration system is undoubtedly due for a major overhaul. In the meantime, many deserving men, women, and families find that they are living an immigration nightmare. As an immigration lawyer in Austin, Texas, I have seen the terrible toll that immigration uncertainty can cause in the lives of people in this country. If you, or anyone you know, have immigration questions or problems, call me now for help at (512) 215-5225.