As President Obama begins his second term, it seems he intends to make good on campaign promises to reform American immigration policy. The New York Times reports today that the president and his fellow Democrats in the Senate are seeking to create a giant omnibus bill that would remake the entire system.
Mr. Obama and Senate Democrats will propose the changes in one comprehensive bill, the officials said, resisting efforts by some Republicans to break the overhaul into smaller pieces â€” separately addressing young illegal immigrants, migrant farmworkers or highly skilled foreigners â€” which might be easier for reluctant members of their party to accept. […]
Mr. Obama is expected to lay out his plan in the coming weeks, perhaps in his State of the Union address early next month, administration officials said. The White House will argue that its solution for illegal immigrants is not an amnesty, as many critics insist, because it would include fines, the payment of back taxes and other hurdles for illegal immigrants who would obtain legal status, the officials said.
The presidentâ€™s plan would also impose nationwide verification of legal status for all newly hired workers; add visas to relieve backlogs and allow highly skilled immigrants to stay; and create some form of guest-worker program to bring in low-wage immigrants in the future.
There’s also a bipartisan coalition, led by Chuck Schumer and Lindsay Graham, along with John McCain, Jeff Flake, and Mike Lee, that’s begun working on a similar overhaul bill.
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