A recent Quinnipiac University poll found that 54 percent of voters polled stated they favored the eventual citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Eighteen percent of those polled stated that they would allow those who are undocumented to stay in the U.S. without allowing them citizenship, while the remaining 28 percent polled stated that they should be deported.
Though immigration has long been a hot-button issue, it seems the U.S. House has decided to delay further examination of several immigration bills while still grappling with how to approach a mostly Republican-backed desire for greater border security. It is expected that most revisions to immigration law which will affect individuals already residing in the country will not be determined until next year.
The House is now beginning to put a strategy into place for the rewrite that is needed of immigration laws, more than six months after the Senate-began its negotiations and weeks after the broad plan was passed.
Senate bill S. 744 proposes a path to citizenship for the more than11 undocumented immigrants who are residing in the United States and undocumented, along with a plan for border security which would cost $46 billion. Though most Senate Democrats and 14 Republicans passed the bill, a large number of House Republicans have stated that they are opposing the current citizenship path proposal. House Speaker John Boehner has repeatedly stated that the Senate bill would not be addressed any time soon, while Louisiana Representative John Fleming stated that any action this July on the bill was “100 percent unlikely.”
House Republicans met for a members-only meeting in July during which they reaffirmed that they would approach the immigration legislation decisions via individual bills. They plan to vote on how to strengthen U.S. border security before they move to other immigration reform issues. Boarder security and the enforcement of current immigration laws were the top priority, Boehner said. He did not comment on whether or not he thought the legislation which included the much-touted citizenship path plan would be passed, a plan which includes a provision not unlike President Obama’s DREAM Act. The DREAM Act is structured to fast-track the undocumented immigrants in the U.S. who came to the country as children and who have gone on to serve in the military or attend college.
President Obama has stated that he hoped to sign comprehensive immigration legislation by the end of 2012. Agreeing on citizenship pathways and border security continue to be a major hurdle for both the House and Senate. Grassroots supporters from business communities, from faith groups and social action communities have been lobbying for the Senate to move forward quickly, to little effect.
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