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U.S. House considers sweeping immigration bill

Leading Florida Democrats have joined forces with immigration advocates to push for federal legislation that would make it easier to seek citizenship for those in the country illegally. The House of Representatives has been considering a sweeping new immigration law, but the Republican majority is against some aspects of the bill.

The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act has broad bipartisan backing. The bill has nearly 200 co-sponsors, and it has garnered widespread support in the business community. The bill has also been endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The law was introduced by Florida Democrat Joe Garcia who represents the state's 26th congressional district.

Backers of the bill say that it would allow millions of undocumented workers to pay taxes and contribute to the economy while lifting the ever present fear of deportation. However, Republicans hope to make significant gains in the upcoming midterm elections, and they fear that backing the bill would not be welcomed by many of their core supporters. Democrats counter that the bill is projected to trim the federal deficit by $900 billion over the next 20 years and contains provisions to beef up border security. These are two issues that have widespread Republicans support.

The debate over this bill shows the political divide that exists in the United States regarding immigration policy. However, those facing deportation proceedings are unlikely to be concerned with political fine points. Immigration law is complex and evolving, and an attorney with experience in this area may be able to offer assistance to individuals facing issues such as asylum, deportation or alleged immigration law violations.

Source: CBS Miami, "Florida Democrats Push For Immigration Reform", April 27, 2014

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