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Lawmakers from both sides of the US political divide expressed optimism this week about striking a deal on immigration reform in 2013, but a potential pathway to citizenship remains a hurdle.
Senator Rand Paul became the latest Republican since his party's November election drubbing, when more than 70 percent of Hispanic voters supported Democratic President Barack Obama, to call for a comprehensive plan that brings 11 million undocumented migrants out of the shadows toward legalized status.
"Immigration reform will not occur until conservative Republicans, like myself, become part of the solution," Paul told the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.
Paul, a rising Tea Party Republican who is seen as a potential 2016 presidential candidate, did not mention citizenship in his speech, but he suggested it was time to accept the notion that most immigrants are in the country to stay.
"Prudence, compassion and thrift all point us toward the same goal: bringing these workers out of the shadows and into becoming and being taxpaying members of society," he said.
"If you wish to live and work in America, then we will find a place for you."
Paul's sudden support for comprehensive reform marks a sign that a deal may be imminent, and able to muster enough Senate votes to overcome objections from the Republican old guard, which largely has been wary of expanding the ranks of minority voters.
It also came a day after a sobering assessment by the Republican National Committee, which said the party must "champion comprehensive immigration reform" as part of its effort to attract minorities, Hispanics in particular.
Four Democrats and four Republicans -- including Senator Marco Rubio, a potential Paul rival in 2016 -- are crafting a comprehensive immigration reform bill expected to be introduced in April.
The group, collectively known as the Gang of Eight, condition any steps to legal status on US government action to secure the nation's borders and stem the flow of illegals.
To become law, the reform would need to pass the Republican-controlled House. But House Speaker John Boehner indicated there was important movement in his chamber, saying the leadership met last week with the four Republicans in the House working group on immigration.
"They're essentially in agreement over how to proceed," Boehner said.
While Boehner declined to provide a time frame for the bill, Republican congressman Raul Labrador said the House was moving swiftly, and that potential citizenship should not be seen as an explosive issue.
"What I have told conservatives is that we need to be open-minded about what we do with the 11 million so that we can get what we want on border security and guest worker programs," Labrador said Wednesday. "That really should be the tone of our negotiations."
Under the Senate plan, illegal immigrants would need to wait a decade for a green card, but then earn citizenship in another three years, the New York Times reported citing people familiar with the negotiations.
That plan is similar to the one pushed by the White House -- a rare point of bipartisan agreement in a volatile capital where partisan politics often trumps cooperation.
Reform advocates say such a time period is too long -- while conservative opponents rail against "amnesty" for illegal immigrants, reflecting the toxicity of much of the debate.
Senator Jeff Sessions and five other Republicans wrote Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary committee, urging him not to rush through such complex and sweeping legislation without potentially years-long study on the effects of providing citizenship to millions of immigrants.
"This nation should not provide every benefit of citizenship to those who came here illegally that we give those who came legally," Sessions said.
Gang of Eight Democrat Senator Robert Menendez dismissed Sessions as "one voice" of opposition.
"There are a lot more voices who believe that a pathway is part of what comprehensive reform is about," Menendez told AFP.
HAS THE TEA PARTY BEEN BETRAYED BY THEIR FAVORITES By now we all know that President Obama is going to stretch his executive privilege to pass some form of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, because he wants the votes from the majority of the new Socialist Democrats? Although why even bother with elections when unknown numbers of non citizens voted, perhaps twice or more in different communities? None of the gang of eight Senators or those complying with the same decisions, seem that very little thought has been attributed to the millions of Americans who either are searching for a job, working in a part time environment or just depressingly have just refrained from looking? All that seems to be publicized is the corporate people who demand the highly skilled visa applications be given priority, which should be advanced to some degree? Or the agricultural people that is yelling about the need for more discount farm workers, but not necessarily wants to pay standard wages, and certainly not going to cover medical care or any other benefit; that’s left to the gullible American taxpayer, who carries the load for not only the Guest workers, but a large majority of illegal aliens. It looks pretty clear that in the coming months some tenuous form of comprehensive immigration reform will find passage through Congress. If the American people cannot put the brakes on it, then all the Senators and House Republicans must enact a mandatory E-Verify system, which coupled with the IMAGE program, will locate in every business illegal workers. And further to a nationwide E-Verify law being passed, it must cover all labor; NOT JUST NEW HIRES? THIS BILL MUST BE AT THE FOREFRONT, AS WITHOUT IT THE NEW WAVES OF ILLEGAL ALIENS WILL BE STEALING JOBS AGAIN AND WE IT WILL BE A VICIOUS CYCLE BEGINNING ALL OVER AGAIN? Whether or not it’s a partner to the Save Act or better known as the LEGAL WORKFORCE BILL, it must be brought for a vote.
We should thank our lucky stars today that we have the unbiased relief of the Internet, or the American public would certainly not be aware of debates in Congress. If for one minute you are going to get the whole truth from the Liberal media, that’s a joke in itself? These special interest groups have never mentioned that over a million more migrants and immigrant nuclear families arrive here annually, many sponsored by citizens? After sponsorship the sponsors intentionally fail to live up to the responsibility of financially supporting a mother or Father, which the taxpayer becomes obligated to see for their needs. It is the same with the craftily fabricated 14th Amendment, the smuggling of young children or babies, whether by airline or across the borders of Mexico and Canada. It all boils down to thousands of pregnant Mothers seeing a chance to gain citizenship for that child/children, that once domiciled here there is unlikely to be a deportation order? The whole burden then falls on the taxpayer to support the mother, who then cohabits with an illegal husband or boyfriend and starts the relentless conveyor belt of newborns. Thus the family financial pot fills up with direct assistance from the state general funds, to feed, house and attribute free emergency care. It a nice set up that has worked for years that qualifies the citizen child/progeny free payments of cash, compliments of the taxpayer. This is the solid reason why the Birthright citizenship law, must be changed that only parents who are citizens can confer on their offspring the right to citizenship.
Hardly any of us would now about the secret closed door negotiations of the gang of eight, until it’s too late. Even the TEA PARTY favorites Marco Rubio and Rand Paul seems to accepted some form of Pathway to Citizenship, without thinking of the imminent flood of people who will also be expecting to be included in this blanket amnesty or whatever..? They however, have furnished detail that the border barriers must be secure, but does that mean revising the design of prior President Bush 2006 SECURE FENCE ACT. IS THE TWO OR THREE FENCES PARALLEL TO EACH OTHER GOING TO STRETCH FROM THE GULF OF MEXICO TO SAN DIEGO? IS IT GOING TO BE SIMILAR IN CONSTRUCTION TO THE 15 MILE SAN DIEGO DOUBLE LAYER FENCE, AS SEEN IN CALIFORNIA. OR IS THIS JUST A DOWNRIGHT LIE WE ARE GOING TO BE FED? FENCE OR NOT, WITHOUT INTERNAL ENFORCEMENT AS MANDATORY E-VERIFY, OR A NATION ID CARD, TO REPLACE THE AGING SOCIAL SECURITY CARD NUMBER IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM THAT HAS SURELY BEEN COMPROMISED, THAT ALL PHYSICAL BARRIERS ARE A WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY.
Publicized on the first page of the pro-sovereignty organization NumbersUSA is a letter to The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy, Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate: Read the whole letter and judge for yourself? A group of six GOP Senators that sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Committee Chairman Pat Leahy on Tuesday urging him to hold more committee hearings before marking up the Gang of Eight's legislation when it's introduced. The letter was signed by Ranking Member Chuck Grassley and Senators Jeff Sessions, Mike Lee, John Cornyn, Orrin Hatch, and Ted Cruz. In the letter, the Senators point out that America's immigration system hasn't been reformed in 30 years, and before the amnesty bill was passed in 1986, it was preceded by 100 hours of hearings with 300 witnesses before a markup. The letter also points out that the Senate Judiciary Committee has only held one immigration hearing this Congress, and there hasn't been an oversight hearing for the Department of Homeland Security since April 2012. The Senators also note that there are 43 new Senators since the last time a comprehensive immigration reform bill was brought before the Congress.
I think by now that hopefully these supposedly servants of the people in Washington, should get it in there thick skulls that 11 to 25 million or more illegal aliens should not get any Path to Citizenship or anything else, specifically when hard working taxpayers are their beneficiaries. Just the processing of this many people will be an added expense to the near 17 Trillion dollars we own nations as China. How can we keep on adding more people to the welfare line, when millions of citizens and legal residents are waiting patiently at food banks or ling up with foreign nationals for food stamps? We cannot give any ground of any kind is to fight back by calling your politician at the Central Washington phone number at (202) 224-312. . LEARN THE ACTUALITY OF OUR BORDERS AND EXAMINE THE HIDDEN NEWS AND REPORTS AT AMERICANPATROL. ALSO SIGN THE PETITION AT THE NUMBERSUSA site to show your disdain. (Hundreds of thousands of irate citizens and legal residents, have already signed the petition already) Confront your Senator or Congressional House with post cards, demanding they stop the current path of overpopulation and Balkanization and taxing Americans to support foreigners. Flood Facebook and Twitter with intelligence, as the other side do. Contact your local press and TV station, because the end is near for commonsense and also another hit on the hurting taxpayer. However the best avenue to get results is to directly phone your person in Congress via the aide and leave your dispute against illegal immigration, a demand for the real wall, e-verify, repealing illegal aliens children gaining citizenship and of major importance a nation ID card for every citizen and legal resident.