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Will 2013 Be the Year the U.S. Immigration System Is Finally Fixed?

A bipartisan group of eight senators and the president appear to be working toward that goal.

Millions of people who are currently living in the shadows after illegally immigrating to the United States could begin a path to finally getting legal status in the United States. That is, if a new bipartisan effort at immigration reform is accepted.

A compromise plan was announced Monday by a group of eight U.S. senators and immediately generated headlines for its forgiveness of undocumented workers who do not have criminal records and the new crackdowns that would be implemented, CNN Politics reported. This was followed up Tuesday with a speech in Las Vegas by President Barack Obama on the same issue.

The main difference appears to be in the focus. While both plans eventually clear a way to citizenship for the reported 11 million illegal immigrants in the country, the president's intent is more on fast-tracking that part of the plan. The senators' plan puts a stronger focus on first securing the border. The senators, in their proposal, said they aim "to secure the border, modernize and streamline our current legal immigration system, while creating a tough but fair legalization process for individuals who are currently here."

Border controls would be tightened — including the use of drones to patrol the U.S.-Mexico border — and there would be more effort to prevent the hiring of undocumented workers. Read the plan here.

Critics, however, are concerned by the failure to address the enormous backlog in legal family-unity immigration. Obama, however, touched on that, although briefly, in his speech.

"We’ve got to bring our legal immigration system into the 21st century because it no longer reflects the realities of our time," Obama said. "For example, if you are a citizen, you shouldn’t have to wait years before your family is able to join you in America."

There were about 11.2 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. in 2010, according to a Pew Research Hispanic report. Conservative leaders have said they are trying to create a modern immigration system, as well as woo back Latino voters.

The immigration reform package must first pass the Senate, then be considered by the House.

Will these efforts result in immigration legislation this year that will eventually fix the immigration system? And is this fair to the immigrants who waited, or are still waiting, their turns for legal visas and green cards?

Mr. B January 31, 2013 at 04:11 PM
Legal citizens are not the subject of this article David. Read before you speak. It will make you appear smarter than you are.
David Brown January 31, 2013 at 04:44 PM
Mr. B, thank you for your kind and respectful reply.:) I was responding to your comment "So David, breaking the law is OK as long as you vote for Obama?" which implies that some undocumented immigrants voted for President Obama. Such was not the case. The Hispanics who voted for President Obama were legal citizens of our country.
Mr. B January 31, 2013 at 06:29 PM
Please don't misunderstand David. I have absolutely NO respect for you. You are a typical liberal with all the correct answers no matter how "progressive" they are. Based on your past postings, I view you as a coward and a destroyer of America.
David Brown January 31, 2013 at 06:44 PM
Mr. B, if you have read my past postings, you must have not read the several postings where I clearly stated I am not a liberal. You made a knee-jerk and visceral reaction. I am opposed to abortion. I am opposed to same sex marriage. I prayed regularly for President George W. Bush, Laura, Jenna, and Barbara. I hate divorce, especially among Christians.. I prove my devotion to the sanctity of marriage by being married only once and to my wife of 32 years. I agree with former Senator Rick Santorium that the best way to decrease the poverty rate in America is by encouraging folks to get and stay married. Does that sound like a liberal to you Mr. B? Yes, I am progressive on the issue of undocumented immigration, because the Bible speaks much about welcoming the stranger.
Karsten Torch January 31, 2013 at 10:18 PM
Don't kid yourselves. There is zero interest in "fixing" the immigration system. It was promised by democrats years ago that it would be a one-time amnesty and the system would be fixed. Reagan was against it, but finally capitulated because of promises made. Of course, those promises were promptly broken. These people are illegal because they are here against the current laws. They're not supposed to be here, ergo...illegal. Now, I will be the first to say that our current immigration laws need to be seriously overhauled. There's no reason it should be so difficult to get here. If it had been many years ago, many of us wouldn't be here. I get that. But you don't award those that are breaking the rules. That's just ignorant. I've said before that there are some laws I find dumb, and some I choose to ignore. Speed limits on certain roads, minor things like that. But, if I get caught breaking those laws, I expect to be reprimanded. Not rewarded. I would say a two-fold system needs to be implemented. First, we fix what's broken. Streamline the process, making it easier to come here. Tighten the border at the same time. That way you can keep out the "undesirables" like criminals. At the same time, you let everybody know that from that point on, if you are caught here illegally, you will never become a citizen, and you will be deported, so get out now. If they know they can get back in the right way if they first exit, we wouldn't have nearly as many illegals here.
Stan January 31, 2013 at 10:18 PM
If you down to the border today, you'll find Border Patrol officers sitting around with not much to do. The number of people crossing from Mexico today is way down, enforcement efforts are working. We still have all the people that have arrived over the last 20 years. The reality is that significant parts of our economy depend on these people. If they all left tomorrow the economy would take a huge hit and we would all be paying a lot more for goods and services we take for granted. Let's growup, deal properly with the mess past rules and practices have created. Having them here benefits us. If they are allowed to become legal then citizenship is years away even if they elect to go for it.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew February 01, 2013 at 02:25 AM
They have been self deporting over the last few years all by themselves at no cost to us ... The same way they paid to get here originally, but without the creative subterfuge sneaking across. If we actually moved to enforce laws, they'd be gone without us chickens paying a dime. For example, quite a few left GA and to my knowledge Gov Deal didn't authorize any expenditures in support of that outcome
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew February 01, 2013 at 02:28 AM
They choose illegal actions - that's how. Its a CHOICE that they can correct without depending on anyone else. NONE were brought here by slave traders as discussed in other threads of late.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew February 01, 2013 at 02:33 AM
Translation: Some misguided politicians are trying to grab some votes from the dwindling pool of democratic voting population, instead of reaching out to the far larger citizen population that have ceased voting. Useful idiots I believe is the term in play Sad fact is, it won't work but some have spent too much time in the beltway among the privileged who are not subject to the laws of the common population.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew February 01, 2013 at 02:50 AM
Actually just a mere attempt to enforce border law might yield more than you think - catch and release doesn't count by the way. I'd at least like to give a try first its an novel approach I know. Besides I think we can reduce Medical expenses further if we stop all the surprise TB testing that was all the rage prior to HB 87.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew February 01, 2013 at 02:53 AM
The biblical references of which you speak were directed to the responsibly of individual people, not governments. This perspective seems to be lost.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew February 01, 2013 at 03:03 AM
Since the issue is the fairness to all these claimed "kidnap victims" who were brought here against their will really needs to be addressed, why not discuss granting them the equivalent status as those from American Somoa? (After fines and bio screening) They would be free to live their lives and their offspring would be granted the voting rights at the federal level. Seems like a compassionate horsetrading response to illegal actions, since no kidnappers in these cases are ever identified or prosecuted for their crimes.
Robbi McCaig February 01, 2013 at 04:18 PM
How many times must the taxpayers go through this crap. Stupidity is doing the same things all wrong over and over. Since Reagan granted amnesty with the provision of border control, ILLEGALS keep flocking here to take advantage of the taxpayers generosity. As far as I'm concerned, the only "hispanics" that came here to work and become citizens were the original Cuban emigrees. They came to work and contribute after knowing the oppressive castro regime. Many wouldn't even let their kids speak Spanish in their homes. Much like the European immigrants who came through Ellis Island, they did not expect the freebies from the government that are now offered in hopes to attract future Democrat voters.
David Womack February 01, 2013 at 06:16 PM
Right on to so many of your points! Love it!
David Womack February 01, 2013 at 06:18 PM
More US citizens mouch off the system than illegals... the system is the problem not the people that want to come here.
David Womack February 01, 2013 at 06:22 PM
As a part of any amnesty program, I would want to make it if you came here illeagly and are granted amnesty, that you could not vote for 10 years...
Robbi McCaig February 01, 2013 at 06:23 PM
Ooooh--that didn't stop them before and it won't stop them now. You'd be accused of being insensitive when they crossed the border and dropped the babies on this side. Sound familiar?
David Womack February 01, 2013 at 06:23 PM
Guess it depends on where you at on the boarder, but from what I seen from the shows is that there is PLENTY to do and if I saw it on TV it must be true....
Karsten Torch February 08, 2013 at 10:53 PM
And we SHOULD welcome immigrants - but the fact is right now they're not here legally. Time for them to go... We definitely need to update our immigration policy, and at least have people signing the register when they come in, but I will admit it is too hard to get in currently. I mean hell, we're all immigrants or descended from immigrants. Still doesn't change the law. And we don't need to reward people for breaking the laws.
Karsten Torch February 08, 2013 at 10:58 PM
I'm quite allright with being considered insensitive.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew February 09, 2013 at 12:56 AM
The problem believe it or not is not the CURRENT system, it’s the people who believe rules and regulations do not apply to them because they are “special” for some reason. The list, if numbered from start to finish totals approximately 1.5 times the entire population of the planet. (Maybe many more if you count the gravesites in and around Chicago) The “special” people spend more time and money finding any and all cracks through which they can flow. These individuals are comprised of all ethnic persuasions, anyone who equates color in any way as a reason against enforcement is a fraud. Finally anyone who says they are for enforcement “enhancements” but won’t support making illegal entry and/or visa overstays a FELONY level offense from now on is not seriously looking for a solution.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew February 09, 2013 at 01:00 AM
NEVER happens just like 1986, 1947 or 1907 the tuff restrictions won't be followed through on because it won't be fair... But when entering our country illegally, misrepresenting visa information or overstaying a legal visa becomes a FELONY - lets talk then. Until the Federal government specifically grants states the ability to mirror all federal statutes with respect to immigration enforcement without interference, we won’t have a secure border. Every 10 years it will be wash, rinse, and repeat. If the Feds can cede marijuana to the states - it can cede immigration.
David Womack February 09, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Make all the changes you want.... If we don't enforce the law, what difference does it make? That's the problem now, have not enforced the law in years...
thcooper69 February 12, 2013 at 05:22 AM
illegal imigrants have ruined the ability for obama voters to survive and with welfare and guberment entitlements have givin the obama voter class an easy out ,forTHAY know theres no way for themb to even compeate with the illigal . when a mex comes out to job theres an aire about them ,there shoes are tied ,there lunch is packed or there whereing boots ,they have a belt on they have there tools ready and they have 2 hands to work with .when an obama voter comes out ,there shoes are untied there trippin all overthembself and they have one hand on pants tryin to keep them up and one hand on cellphone ,talkin or textin . with a mex illegal u show him one time and the job gets done ,when u hire an obama voter u have to stand there and baby themb all day ,holding there hand ,obama bot spellin it out for themb all day .so ur an employer ,who are u gona hire ? its easy if the mex illegal is there of course your gona hire themb .with american manufacturing grinding to a halt as cnn has reported and are markets flooded with chinese goods ,free trade and nafta has killed off all the plant type manufacturing jobs of jus simple american products .with dolla mart and dolla general and walmart pushing cheap chinese goods .theres no hope for the common obama voter that once filled these simple jobs .on the other end mex illegals have filled all remaining manufacturin jobs and construction jobs ,by simply showin up to work ontime .the border has to be closed and all imigrants kicked out
thcooper69 February 12, 2013 at 05:26 AM
all free trade has to be stoped and obama has to help the business that once produced these simple products ,restart these factorys using federal money .welfare incintives to keep spitin out chilren has to be stoped as this has become the norm for the obama votin class .unions are not the problem and all that work in a union are there because they wana fairly earn a retirement and not jus in the end of there lives try to make it off social security .
thcooper69 February 12, 2013 at 05:41 AM
back in tha 80's when there wher no mex illegals around a common ditch digger could make 25.00 an hour ,house framers where makin 5.75 a ft ,when mex illegals shown up .it beacme a struggel for soon to be obama voters ,where thay couldnt even make 5 dollas an hour diggin a ditch and 5.75 a ft dropped to 1.00 a ft in some areas because there were so many illegals ..kmart carried numerios chinese and jap goods and many northern factorys started closing because they couldnt compeate . but when reagan wrote and crafted nafta he wouldnt sign it ,but bill clinton did {a democrat ] knowing full well it would benifit his friends and lobyist behind big business and that it would kill off the unions and the american manufacturing industry ,by allowing foreign governments to use slave labor to mass produce anything and then sell it here in america with little or no excise tax as if the product was mass produced here .and now what u have is chicago and providence ri . two of the largest illegal latino communtys in america and obama voters down and out walkin tha skreets beggin fo spare change and have no CLUE as to how all this happened .during the election THAY blamed the romney types for this and idiolized obama .but the troofs is obama knows yet chooses to do nuffins his policys wont help them essentialy in tha end ans big money lobyist still run dc and spell out tha doom for the obama voter class on tha horizon
Kenneth Stepp February 12, 2013 at 11:01 AM
Nathan This is a complicated issue that has become impossible to fix because politicians are tasked with fixing it. Laws must be followed, but current laws need to be rewritten. There seems to be two opinions. Let all of them here illegally stay, or send them all back. Both are wrong. Logic, compassion, and realistic goals are needed here.
Good Grief Y'all February 12, 2013 at 12:22 PM
@Coop, how much longer does it take you to manufacturer your words than writing in plain English? How much longer does it take for a reader to decipher them? Too long. Sorry, couldn't get through it.
Karsten Torch February 12, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Found something we agree on, GGY....
Good Grief Y'all February 12, 2013 at 03:19 PM
Haha, Karsten! Cause for a mini celebration, huh? Oops, that was supposed to be manufacture. Hate misspellings, especially when correcting a misspeller :D

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