Immigration reform comes to the forefront on Capitol Hill
J’Dana Holsinger, ’Doah Staff Writer
February 20, 2013
After this past year’s poor election performance by the Republican Party, the GOP is trying to revamp their political platform in order to attract voters outside of their white, evangelical wheelhouse. Latinos made up a total of 10 percent of all voters in 2012, and 71 percent of them voted for Barack Obama over Mitt Romney. In an effort to attract more Hispanic voters, Republican representatives are now coming out in support of immigration reform that would ultimately provide a pathway to citizenship for more than 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.
Last month, Arizona Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain told Wolf Blitzer on CNN that there are political considerations behind the GOP’s support of immigration reform because without it “our chances of being in the majority are minimal.”
Other popular, mainstream Republicans like Florida Senator Marco Rubio have also been heavily advocating for an overhaul of our immigration system. Rubio is the son of a Cuban immigrant, and is currently being pushed as a possible 2016 presidential candidate.
Democrats are in support of legislation on immigration, as well. President Obama said on the topic, “We are not going to ship back 12 million people, we’re not going to do it as a practical matter. We would have to take all our law enforcement that we have available and we would have to use it and put people on buses, and rip families apart, and that’s not who we are, that’s not what America is about.
“So what I’ve proposed… is you say we’re going to bring these folks out of the shadows. We’re going to make them pay a fine, they are going to have to learn English, they are going to have to go to the back of the line…but they will have a pathway to citizenship over the course of 10 years.”
Despite all the talk, legislation is still a work in progress for those in D.C. So far, the bill is likely to require current illegal aliens to make themselves known, pay back taxes that they have evaded, pass an English proficiency test and meet a few other requirements in order to gain their citizenship without the fear of being deported. The debates are currently still ongoing on Capitol Hill, but it sounds like, for the most part, we can expect some kind of action to take place soon.