Yesterday June 27, 2013, the Senate took a momentous step forward with a vote of 68-32 in favor of final passage of S. 744, the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act." The comprehensive immigration reform legislation (S. 744) passed by a vote of 68-32 (including 14 Republicans) in the Senate. Now the bill moves its way to the House where it faces many challenges.
The House lawmakers are working on their own version of immigration legislation that varies from S. 744 originally proposed by a bi-partisan group of 8 Senators (4 Democrats and 4 Republicans) called “The Gang of 8” and backed by President Obama, who has made immigration legislation the corner-stone of his second term.
The legislation, if passed, would be the most sweeping overhaul of this country’s immigration system since about the 1980s. The majority of the members in Congress realize that America’s immigration system is “broken,” but they have differences in opinion as to how to go about fixing it. The House members for the most part prefer a piece by piece approach with various legislations on smaller issues focusing on border security and enforcement, while the Senate is in favor of one major comprehensive reform with a path to legalization of millions of undocumented individuals living in the country today.
Yesterday’s vote moves the United States toward a real immigration reform which is so vitally important for immigrant families, businesses, and the entire economy. This vote reflects how far the country has come in understanding the significance of immigration reform to the health and well-being of the nation as a whole. Although the bill faces an uncertain future in the House, it certainly reflects the irrefutable fact that the social and economic benefits of immigration reform are tangible and achievable.