News Column

Momentum Builds for US Immigration Reform Plan

Nov 19, 2012

Two U.S. senators launched a fresh move to put together a bipartisan immigration reform plan, restarting talks on a proposal that includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country.

Since President Barack Obama was re-elected on Nov. 6 with overwhelming support from Hispanic voters, many Republicans have expressed a new willingness to work with Democrats to pass immigration reform after years of legislative inaction.

Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," Democratic Senator Charles Schumer said he and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham have agreed to resume talks on immigration reform that broke off two years ago.

"And I think we have a darned good chance using this blueprint to get something done this year. The Republican Party has learned that being ... anti-immigrant doesn't work for them politically. And they know it," Schumer said.

Obama in 2010 called the proposal backed by Graham and Schumer a "promising framework," but it made no headway.

There are an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States, most of them Hispanics.

The Graham and Schumer plan has four components: requiring high- tech, fraud-proof Social Security cards to ensure that illegal workers cannot get jobs; strengthening border security and enforcement of immigration laws; creating a process for admitting temporary workers; and implementing a path to legal status for immigrants already in the country.



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