Although the immigration reform bill that was presented on Wednesday by the Democrats has come in for some criticism, it is largely being praised for offering a path to legal status for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants who are currently living in the United States.
The bill was authored by a dozen Democrats along with Minority House Leader Nancy Pelosi and includes a lot of the elements that were featured in the immigration reform bill that was passed by the Senate back in June, including the tightening of border security and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. The House of Representatives bill does however not include the controversial provision that demanded the addition of 20,000 more agents on the border between the US and Mexico as well as an extra 700 miles of fencing.
The bill does add a new provision for the Department of Homeland Security to come up with a strategy to arrest 90 percent of those that illegally cross the southern border. Unlike the Senate bill that asked for as much as $46 billion in new spending for helicopters, drones and other technology, the House bill does not propose any new spending.
Although some immigration reform advocates were disappointed by the omission of some of the more lenient policies such as the diversity visa program, many advocates have nonetheless praised the bill in the hope that it will build momentum for it to advance in the House.