In an attempt to get immigration reform moving forward within the House of Representatives, Republican Jeff Denham from California has teamed up with Democrats in the House to create a brand new bill to deal with the controversial issue. Denham has become the only Republican to team up with the group of 185 Democrats who are working on the bill, which will offer a pathway to US citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
“We can’t afford any more delays,” Denham declared in a statement. “I support an earned path to citizenship to allow those who want to become citizens to demonstrate a commitment to our country, learn English, pay fines and back taxes and pass background checks.”
The new bill, which is being referred to as the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act is essentially a mirror of the bill that was passed by the Senate back in June, offering a pathway to US citizenship and including Denham’s own ENLIST Act, which makes it possible for qualified immigrants to be able to join the Armed Forces of the United States. The bill “makes securing the border a requirement, not a goal,” Denham claims, adding that it also “puts measurable benchmarks in place to be verified by independent sources to ensure that our border is secure”.
There are just 19 remaining Congressional days in 2013, and immigration reform advocates are increasingly concerned that there is now no time in which to pass such a bill this year.