The Senate has approved the immigration reform bill today with a 68 to 32 vote in favor.
The bill would create a path to U.S. citizenship. The path would take 13 years and it would be available to undocumented immigrants who can fulfill all of the eligibility requirements:
- Has had residence in the U.S. since before Dec. 31, 2011
- Has not left country since Dec. 31, 2011
- Has not been convicted of a felony, 3 or more misdemeanors, or an offense under foreign law
- Has not voted in the U.S. illegally
- Is not a danger to national security or public health
Eligible undocumented immigrants would be required to pay fees and back taxes. This process is expected to bring in one trillion dollars to the U.S. in the next 20 years.
The Border Security, Economy Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 was drafted by the Senate’s Gang of 8 and released in mid-April of this year.
If it passes in the House, President Obama will be asked to sign it. Obama says he supports the bill. All we need now, Obama said today, is for “Congress to finish the job.”
This bill would become the most significant immigration reform bill since 1986.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said today’s decision was historic.
“This legislation will reunite families. It will bring millions of people out of the shadows and into our legal system. It will spur job growth and reduce our deficit. And it will make us safer.”
More on Immigration Reform:
- Immigration Reform 2013
- Gang of 8
- Earned Citizenship
- Streamlining Immigration
- Strengthening Border Security
- More Accountability for Employers Hiring Undocumented Immigrants