Senators Edward Kennedy and John McCain will be introducing a revised version of their immigration reform plan to Congress. The bill was blocked last year because Republican leaders in the House were opposed to any immigration proposal that would allow illegal aliens to eventually become citizens.
The Kennedy-McCain plan will largely mirror the immigration bill that was introduced last year, which would call for the installation of a 700 mile border fence, double the size of the U.S. Border Patrol, and add new penalties for employers who hire undocumented workers. The bill will also allow most of the 12 million undocumented workers to eventually earn immigration status. The bill would allow illegal aliens to become citizens by learning the English language, paying a $2000 fine, paying back taxes, and passing a criminal background check.
The proposal once again includes a provision for a temporary Guest Worker program. This would allow immigrants in the U.S. to work under a temporary visa program.
Congressional leaders indicate that they hope to reach a decision on immigration reform soon, and before the 2008 presidential election campaign pushes to the forefront of politics.
Those in favor of immigration reform still have a tough battle ahead of them. Even though the Republicans are no longer in control of Congress, the Democrats still need their support, and major Republican leaders are still not on board for a comprehensive immigration reform bill. This could possibly slow down or even stop the passage of immigration reform this year.