Sunday, March 31, 2013

Current State of CIR

Lots of news websites (CNN, NBC, FOX, Times, etc) are posting different articles on Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Here is a quick overview of how things currently are:

Democratic Party (including President Obama): Wants citizenship for undocumented immigrants
Republican Party: Wants EAD only for undocumented immigrants (right to live and work in US). Many republicans strongly believe that these people broke the law and hence should not be rewarded. However, since republicans losts the presidential election again - their committee recommended supporting immigration reform.

As most people know that people only remembers the President who signs the bill into law. They do not remember the Congress who actually passes the bill and sends it to President to sign. You may want to read this article: How a bill becomes law.

Republicans fear that if all these undocumented immigrants are given citizenship, then two things will happen: (a) it will encourage more people to break the law and (b) Majority of these new citizens will vote for Democratic Party (since they will remember Obama as" passing the bill"). Due to these two main reasons, many republicans are hesitant to pass CIR.

President Obama has said that he will veto (reject) EVERY immigration bill that does not include path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Thus the only bill Obama will sign is CIR. Any other bills, even for legal immigrants and/or highly skilled immigrants will also be rejected by Obama.

Will CIR pass?
There are many conflicting reports almost daily on this issue. Even John McCain (who is in the 'Gang Of Eight') is not very optimistic. Though McCain has a history on flip flopping (changing) his ideas and beliefs depending on who he is talking to.

For those who dont know, George W Bush (Republican President) tried to pass CIR in 2006 and 2007. However even at that time the Congress again failed to pass those bills.

There was a poll where general public voted on performance of Congress. Only 9% said they are happy with the way Congress is working. One of the senior Senators when he heard this number was wondering who these 9% people are. This is because he said even he won't vote for the Congress - though he is a very senior member of Congress.

If you did not know: Republicans are the majority in House and Democrats are the majority in Senate. Hence majority of 535 people who make up the Congress has to agree before a bill can become law.

Many Republicans are saying that Obama, by insisting path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, is making sure that CIR does not pass. Thus he will have something to fight against in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

Also Whitehouse (President Obama) has said that if Congress cannot agree on CIR, he will introduce his own bill and tell Congress to vote on it right away. Remember this is the same Congress who could not agree on debt ceiling compromise leading to sequester cuts in ALL government departments (though some programs like medicaid, social security and few others are exempted).

In case Congress fails to pass CIR, there are MANY immigrations bills introduced in Congress which might have a higher chance of passing as a stand alone bill. You can view those bills here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2013/02/collection-of-latest-immigration-bills.html

Update:

Many news agencies are reporting that the business and labor group has reached a decision on the "last" sticking point in CIR bill. They will introduce a "W visa" for low skilled immigrants which will start at 20,000 per year and can go all the way upto 200,000 by fifth year.

Another Update:  

Chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy have agreed to have an extensive debate on CIR bill sometimes in April. They are planning to introduce CIR bill on April 8, 2013.

Remember so far only 8 senators ("gang of 8") are introducing the bill. For the bill to pass Congress, at least 278 Congressmen have to agree to this (218 in House and 60 in Senate). We will keep you posted on updates.

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