Immigration reform in the spring

Hispanic voters started the push for immigration reform in the United States when they backed President Obama in last year’s election.  This month they will see whether or not those seeds will actually be able to grow in the toxic partisan atmosphere of Capitol Hill.

Congress returned from its spring break yesterday and top of the agenda now is immigration reform.  The bipartisan “Gang of Eight” in the Senate is getting ready to reveal its much anticipated plan on how to go about resolving the problem of their being 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the shadows in the United States.  Congress has long been strongly divided on the issue, but the strong bias might finally have a chance of being overwhelmed thanks to a confluence of circumstances including a Republican Party struggling to cope with the new demographic reality in the country and a President intent on building his legacy.

“What we have now is not a 21st century legal immigration system,” Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio says.  “We have an obligation and the need to address the reality of the situation that we face.”

A source close to the negotiations has told CNN that a tentative agreement has been reached between the eight senators on some of the more thorny issues, including the creation of a pathway to US citizenship and the establishment of a system designed to assess the condition of border security.  Senator John McCain has said that the plan could be ready to go by the end of this week.