The road to compromise on immigration reform

With immigration reform bills sitting in the House, many legislators are beginning to seek compromise. The Republican-led House has some GOP lawmakers who are opposed to a pathway to citizenship, resulting in a stand still. However, leaders against broad citizenship rights for immigrants have expressed a willingness to seek a different option.

Lawmakers have proposed, instead, that illegal residents who live and work in the U.S. for a set number of years would be given the opportunity to apply for a green card, or legal permanent residency. Though difficult to obtain, once a person is awarded the green card, he or she would automatically be given the chance to apply for citizenship at a later point in time. This route would be stricter than the current proposed path to citizenship, which is pleasing to many Republicans.

Tamar Jacoby, president of ImmigrationWorks USA, urged Republicans to offer the compromise and for Democrats to approve, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Many fear that if negotiations extend into 2014, a bipartisan agreement may be a long way off as lawmakers face reelection. The Senate has already approved bipartisan legislation creating a 13-year path to citizenship. This is the focal point that is causing issues right now in the House. Last week, two more Republican leaders backed out of bipartisan talks, seeking instead to create a series of smaller bills to address the issues.

“Indications from Representative Goodlatte and others are that they want to move on immigration, that doing nothing is not an option. I am of the belief, despite reports that immigration reform is dead, that it’s very much alive,” Kevin Appleby, director of migration policy for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told the source.

Bob Goodlatte, a U.S. congressman from Virginia, has been working with a panel on four new pieces of legislation dealing with border control. His continued efforts have many advocates holding onto hope.