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Dan Moffett

President Obama Could Announce New Comprehensive Reform Plan During State of the Union Address

By January 14, 2013

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President Obama may announce details of a new push for comprehensive immigration reform when he delivers the first State of the Union address of his second term on Feb. 12, Lincoln's birthday.

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators, led by Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has been trading ideas on how to reform the broken system for months, and the likelihood of a compromise bill has grown greater.

Despite looming battles with Congress over the budget, debt ceiling and gun control, President Obama has insisted he still wants to tackle immigration reform early in his first term.

The plan gaining momentum in the Senate includes four important provisions: enhanced border security, counterfeit-proof immigration documents, expanded legal immigration for skilled immigrants, and a path to citizenship for those already in the U.S. that includes some tough requirements, such as learning English and paying fees and taxes.

Strangely enough, it could actually be easier now for Congress members to unite over immigration reform than budgetary matters. And Obama could jump-start the process by announcing the reform effort during the State of the Union. Wouldn't it be appropriate that the announcement that would help free 11 million illegal immigrants should come on Lincoln's birthday?

Sen. Rubio wants to repair Republicans' relationship with Hispanics after the drubbing the party took at the polls in November. He supports reforming the immigration system in increments, rather than taking a comprehensive approach. Rubio has offered a plan that would allow illegal immigrants temporary legal status from which they could eventually apply for permanent residency.

Comments

January 14, 2013 at 5:53 pm
(1) Edward says:

When holding conversation on immigration reform, the law should not aimed at illegal immigrants from South America. There are categories of immigrants in the US who are illegal or in uncertain circumstances but who did not come into the country in the manner South Americans routinely do. Immigration reform should be broad enough to cover all categories.

January 15, 2013 at 1:24 am
(2) Angela Nkus says:

Immigration reform should not be about Latinos alone. We have people who overstayed their visas and some who have applied for some kind of benefit and were denied. This group have been paying taxes, have social security number and are professionals who are gainfully employed, but are legal. They equally have been around for years. This group should be part of discussion.

January 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm
(3) fiji says:

If they are here the past 10 years n have been paying tax then give them fines when filling papers.
If 11 million people pays $1000 fines; that will fix the broken boarded and the economy too will grow.

January 29, 2013 at 4:31 am
(4) Chen says:

Fix the one waiting in the line first. They paid immigration dues and taxes and yet take years to approved their application. Backlogs? Priority date should also be addressed. Illegal immigrants who take advantage of taxpayers money should be stopped! or ask them to return favor after they had jobs so that the money will return to the basket and help someone else in needs…Hope the long wait is over!

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