The bitter disagreement between republicans and democrats about the debt ceiling and the government budget means that there is a very chance that the immigration reform will be passing through the congress during the current year. Before the last presidential elections, Barack Obama promised that he will make the immigration reform one of his main priorities during the second term.
The complexities of the American political system have however made very difficult for the president to achieve any progress with the reform. Representative Raul Labrador, a Republican from Idaho, told US journalists ‘after the way the President acted over the last two or three weeks where he would refuse to talk to the speaker of the House [of Representatives], they’re not going to get immigration reform. That’s done’.
Some Democrats, however, think that the Republicans will agree on the immigration reform out of a desire for self-preservation. Opinion shows that most of the American public blames the Republican Party for the fact that many important government decisions have failed to pass through the Congress during the last four years. In order to gain support for the immigration reform, President Obama has assigned the drafting of the immigration bill to eight senators – four republicans and four democrats.
If the bill becomes a law it will increase twice the number of H-1B visas that are available for skilled foreign immigrants. In addition to that, the bill will allow for PhD graduates from US universities to apply for the Green Card program. Last but not least the bill will create a pathway to citizenship for more than 11,5 million illegal immigrants that live in the country.
In order to become law, however, the bill must be accepted from both houses of the Congress – the Senate and the House of the Representatives. The Senate is controlled by President Obama’s Democrats, by a small majority, whereas the House is controlled by the Republicans, again by a small majority. This means that, in order to get any legislation through Congress, a certain amount of bipartisan cooperation is required.
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