The U.S. Senate will vote on the Gang of 8’s immigration bill next month.
The bill is likely to receive full bi-partisan support in the Democrat-led Senate. And President Obama is supportive of the bill, but before he can get the bill and sign it into law, the House of Representatives will vote on it.
For a bill to become law in the U.S., the U.S. Senate, the House of Representatives and the President must approve it.
So how will the Immigration Bill do in the House? Passing the bill as it stands is likely to be difficult. The House is controlled by Republicans, 233-201.
Republicans traditionally oppose the legalization of 11 million undocumented immigrants. Most Republicans view it as amnesty for people who have broken the law. This, they believe, only sends the wrong message: It creates an incentive for more illegal crossings.
The Immigration Bill that passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee last week will provide a 13-year pathway to citizenship to undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. before December 31, 2011, maintained continuous physical presence, and do not have any criminal conviction of more than two misdemeanors on record. The initial fine eligible applicants will have to pay is $500.
Registered Provisional Immigrant Status, RPI, will last six years and can be renewed for another $500. After 10 years, and after paying another fine, this time of $1000, RPIs can seek lawful permanent residency status. After three years of permanent residency, citizenship will become available.
Republicans do not seem to be sold on the idea that backing an immigration reform bill with a pathway to citizenship will win them more votes. If the bill does pass, there is a possibility that the pathway to citizenship could be omitted.
More on Immigration Reform:
- Immigration Reform 2013
- Gang of 8
- Earned Citizenship
- Streamlining Immigration
- Strengthening Border Security
- More Accountability for Employers Hiring Undocumented Immigrants