GOP’s U-turn on Immigration
It looks like GOP has decided to change its rhetoric on undocumented immigrants from “not rewarding law breakers” to “immigration reform must include path to citizenship.”
Yesterday on ABC’s Sunday program “This Week”, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said “We can’t go on forever with 11 million people living in this country in the shadows in an illegal status. We cannot forever have children who were born here — who were brought here by their parents when they were small children to live in the shadows, as well.”
Mccain also admitted that the GOP’s poor performance among Hispanic voters in 2012 election has caused the party to reconsider its position on immigration.
Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez (N.J.), Senate Majority Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Senator McCain are part of the newly created bipartisan team of six senators that have been working on immigration reform. Other three are, Democrats Charles Schumer of New York, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida.
It’s unclear whether the entire group will back the pathway to full citizenship premise that the President Obama is seeking, but the group is pressing for quick action, aiming to draft a bill by March and pass legislation in their chamber by August, reports AP.
Conditions of the reform proposal that are being discussed include paying fines and back taxes, learning English and not having criminal records. Increased border security and mandatory penalties for businesses that employ unauthorized immigrants are also added to the plan.
Improvements to the legal immigration system, including giving green cards to high-skilled workers and lifting caps on legal immigration for the immediate family members of U.S. citizens are the other possible topics of the reform proposal.