First round of debates in Washington proves that immigration reform will be tough game

Parties on both sides of the political isle start tackling the issue of the immigration reform 

Immigration reform activists hold a sign in front of Freedom Tower in downtown Miami, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013.
Immigration reform activists hold a sign in front of Freedom Tower in downtown Miami, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013.

by, Artur Tofan
Current Affairs Editor

President Obama and his administration keep the pressure on in their effort to reform the nation’s immigration laws. The President met on Tuesday February 5, 2013 with chief executives and union leaders to talk about how to secure the border and fix the immigration system.

“I’m going to keep on pushing as hard as I can. I believe that the mood is right. I was very pleased to see the Senators from both the Democratic side and the Republican side come together and put forth principles,” declared Obama on Univision. “This is a matter of us recognizing that comprehensive immigration reform will make our economy stronger. It is true to our traditions,” continued the president.

House Republicans kicked off the debate in Washington on Tuesday calling on a handful of policy changes they argued should take priority, including improving the visa system for immigrants who graduate from American schools and dealing with illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

“A good place to start is with the kids,” voiced Eric Cantor, Republican congressman of Virginia. “One of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents.”

One of the hottest topic in the immigration debate promises to become the status of undocumented workers that currently live in the United States. Julian Castro, the Democratic mayor of San Antonio, Texas stressed that “as the president has pointed out, a path to citizenship is the best option,” for the 11 million undocumented, many of whom have lived in the United States for a decade or more.

Still many Republicans see this as a reward for the undocumented immigrants and would opt for a more moderate solution, suggesting a permanent work visa system.  “While we are a nation that allows anyone to start anew, we are also a nation of laws,” said Cantor of Virginia, adding that in regards to those who crossed the borders illegally the federal government must enforce the laws it has on the books.

And with fresh doubt on whether immigration reform can be passed this year, parties on both sides of the isle seem to agree that U.S. immigration system needs adjustment. “We all agree that our nation’s immigration system is in desperate need of repair,” said Republican Representative of Virginia Bob Goodlatte. “But before we rush to judgment, we need to carefully look at the current laws on the books to see what is and isn’t working. Reforming our nation’s immigration laws is a massive undertaking and is too important to not examine each piece in detail.”

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