Congress Moves Closer to Immigration Reform

According to the Christian Science Monitor, lawmakers in the House and Senate are expected to introduce legislation for comprehensive immigration reform, and the legislation from both houses is likely to be more comparable than it was last year.  The legislation includes guest worker provisions and a path to citizenship for some 12 million undocumented workers.

Immigration advocacy groups feel confident that the conditions are the best they have been in two decades for comprehensive immigration reform.  However, lawmakers face obstacles ahead since they say they will need at least 20 Republican votes in the Senate and from 40 to 80 in the House to move legislation this year.

An increase in federal enforcement of employer sanctions, for employment of undocumented workers, on businesses that hire illegal workers, including high-profile raids, are attracting more business groups to support immigration reform.  

According to the Christian Science Monitor:  “In fiscal year 2006, the number of arrests more than tripled to 4,383, including 718 arrests for criminal offenses compared with a year earlier. In 2004, there were only 845 arrests. The push continues to accelerate. Three months into this fiscal year, ICE has already made more than double the criminal arrests that were made in all of 2005.”