The Momentum for Change is Here and Now

February 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

This has been a busy month so far with plenty of discussions on achieving meaningful immigration reform. On February 5, 2013, the House Judiciary Committee spoke on Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) for nearly six hours, including testimonies from various public interest organizations. Among the topics discussed (and over which plenty of arguments ensued), some of the highlights included the hot button issue of what status to give to the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently residing in the U.S. and the issue of allowing more low-skilled workers to come to the U.S. to work. Other issues included what mechanisms to use to ensure that the American workforce was legal, how to strengthen our nation’s ability to protect its borders, and admitting immigrants based on high skills or on family unity.

Then in his State of the Union address on February 12, President Obama spoke about the importance of a road map to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented, and the need for real solutions for the “legal immigration system to cut waiting periods, reduce bureaucracy, and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy.” Mr. Obama called on Congress to move forward and “get it done.”

The next day the Senate held its first comprehensive immigration hearing on February 13, and further discussions and calls for reform were made. One of the messages that came across from this meeting was to look at immigration as an “opportunity to seize, not a problem to fix”. And for those questioning whether such reform should be accomplished in a piecemeal or incremental fashion, the message on that issue was clear – most of the Senators at this meeting favored a comprehensive approach. For a more detailed analysis on CIR and a brief look at our immigration history and background, refer to Immigration Policy Center’s recent article here.

Let’s keep our eyes on the horizon in the coming months for some big changes as the momentum is certainly here and now.

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