Yesterday, House Democrats introduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill that would grant legal status to nearly eight million undocumented immigrants in the United States.
The proposed bill is based on an earlier bill that passed in the Senate in June. The Senate bill, which passed by a vote of 68-32, would have granted legal status to 7.7 million undocumented immigrants, tightened employer enforcement of illegal immigration by requiring non-citizens to show work authorization cards with biometric data, and spent an additional 30 billion dollars on border security. It also included provisions that assist HRI’s clients. The bill proposed in the House would adopt all of these measures except for the additional funds on border security. In its place, the House bill would require the Department of Homeland Security to create a detailed plan leading to the apprehension of 90 percent of illegal border-crossers in high traffic areas within 33 months and across the US-Mexico border within five years.
Doug Stump, the president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, praised the bill. He remarked, “Some might say that this isn’t the time to bring up immigration reform legislation but I disagree. Now is the right time because while there is disagreement around other issues, immigration reform is something that the vast majority of Americans actually agree on: that common sense reform is urgently needed and should include a roadmap to legalization for the undocumented.”