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Could true immigration reform be on the horizon? P.2

In the last entry, this blog began discussing the issue of immigration reform, and recent comments and commentary suggesting that Congress may be able to break the gridlock on true reform. The discussion left off that recent public dialog has included the concept of comprehensive immigration reform, although what that may mean seems a bit elusive.

The tough question remains whether or not Congress will address a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

Commentators say that Democrats support plans that would provide a pathway for some immigrants to seek U.S. citizenship. And while the rumblings continue to mount in Washington that members from both sides of the aisle may be more open to immigration reform, the details of what that openness constitutes remains elusive.

In the aftermath of Boehner's appearance on ABC News, reporters asked for some clarification Friday. The speaker was willing to say that it is "just time to get the job done" in regard to comprehensive immigration reform. But the speaker also said to reporters at a press conference in answering questions about whether reform will include a path to citizenship, "I'm not going to get into any of the details of how you would get there," according to the Huffington Post.

Obviously, no new proposals have been put on the table since Election Day. The real efforts toward immigration reform are not expected until the new Congress opens --and President Obama's second term begins-in January. The issue of citizenship may continue to be hotly debated.

Proponents of immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship say that it is the only way to avoid creating an underclass of people in the country. Opponents argue that it could encourage an increase in unauthorized immigration.

Sources:

  • Wall Street Journal, "Republicans Reconsider Immigration Laws," Peter Nicholas, Nov. 8, 2012
  • The Huffington Post, "John Boehner Refuses To Say If He Supports Path To Citizenship," Elise Foley, Nov. 9, 2012

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