The U.S. Senate passed their version of immigration reform today, 68 - 32 (with 14 Republicans voting for the bill). While this is a good step in the right direction and ultimately will do some good, there are some poison apple items in the Senate bill. However, the bigger issue is waiting and watching the House to see how they handle this issue. There traditional bullshit won't work on THIS issue. You can't use "Obama isn't leading" or "The Senate must make the first move, it's their fault" or "This isn't a bi-partisan issue..." Nope. No more hiding. Everyone will see you for the party you are (or want to be - looking at you Reince). Everyone will see through the spin, past the hyperbole, and over the extreme right wing rhetoric. It is just you and a decision (minus a few tweaks here or there).
The Senate bill in a nutshell:
- Unauthorized immigrants can apply for a green card in 10 years and U.S. citizenship 3 years later AFTER they:
- pass a criminal background check
- pay a fine and outstanding back taxes
- maintain a clean record
- and have a job
- Government spend $30 billion to DOUBLE the size of Border Patrol to nearly 40,000 agents (poison pill #1) and another $8 billion on drones, helicopters, airplanes and surveillance technology to monitor 2,000-mile border between U.S. and Mexico. (Poison Apple: The near $40 billion from the same folks that cut defense by $42.7 billion with sequestration. Also, the budget and size of the Border Patrol could be more than that of the FBI, DEA, ATF, Secret Service, and ICE COMBINED - with room to spare! I guess we can see where the priorities are... crime and punishment or keeping Mexicans out... you tell me.)
- Expand E-Verify program nationwide, requiring all U.S. business owners to use it to check the immigration status of all new hires within four yours (yes, that means YOU too!).
- Introduce Biometrics to "monitor" foreigners leaving the country and those who've stayed past their visas (poison pill two: this will require MORE money for the agencies that need to update their software)
- Issue temporary visas for those trained in science, technology, engineering and math. In addition to creating a NEW type of visa for those working in lower-skilled jobs (construction, retail, hospitality, etc.) (poison pill #3 - get ready for some leaders in the Black community to take issue with "losing jobs.")
Will the House Republicans pass an immigration bill?
Why or why not?
If they do/don't, what is the potential benefit/fallout?