Immigration debate heats up

Conservative members in the House of Representatives are standing firm on their opposition to a comprehensive immigration reform plan, and on May 14 they made it clear that they weren’t faltering in their opinions. Amnesty continues to be the main cause for debate between Senate and House members, and House conservatives refuse to sign a bill that allows this freedom for the 11 million immigrants who do not have U.S. citizenship.

The path to citizenship in the Senate’s draft of the bill would take almost 13 years, with provisional status to be granted almost immediately to those who were in the country before 2012. Supporters refuse to call this amnesty, and opponents use the word as an indicator of a free pass for those who have lived in the country without citizenship. Those against the bill fear that the immigrants who gain U.S. citizenship will be competing for employment in an already unstable economy.

“After legalization, they’ll be eligible for virtually every job in the country,” Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, told the Los Angeles Times. “People whose jobs are not threatened right now will find themselves in competition with these workers.”

Worried about taxpayers being burdened by immigrants who do not seek legal citizenship, House members said that the nation cannot afford to get into any more financial debt. However, leaders also supported the immigration changes, granted that laws are enforced.

“If the rule of law is not observed then you have chaos,” Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-TX, told the Senate during debates. “Nobody behind me or anyone who supports our position wants a closed border. Immigration is a life spring, it brings additional life and rejuvenation to this country. But we have to make sure we don’t get overwhelmed by those who want to destroy us.”