Debate begins in Senate over immigration reform

Senators met on 7th June in order to start preliminary discussions over the bill for comprehensive immigration reform in the United States.  Given that this is the very first attempt to change the current system in six years, since 2007, the debate is looming large for the lawmakers who will have to vote on the legislation prior to the Senate break for the 4th July recess.

“It is gratifying to see the momentum behind this package of common sense reforms, which will make our country safer and help 11 million undocumented immigrants get right with the law,” says Democratic Senate majority leader Harry Reid.

The bipartisan bill from the Gang of Eight passed by a 13-5 vote out of the Senate Judiciary Committee in May, and is now facing an initial vote on 11th June in order to officially proceed with the debate.  Although some members of Congress support the idea of providing a pathway to US citizenship for undocumented immigrants, others are more interested in what is going to be done to strengthen security at the border.

The New York Times says that the passing of the immigration reform bill into law could see a much-needed boost to the mortgage and real estate industries, which are areas that have been suffering since the recession.  If a path to citizenship is offered to illegal immigrants already living in the country, the amount of home buyers in the United States could surge by as many as three million in ten years.