To a number of immigration advocates, the new immigration reform bill that was unveiled by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” on Tuesday is unnecessarily punitive, while to some conservatives, it is offering amnesty. The left and right alike were criticizing the new bill, which ironically has the four Democratic and four Republican senators who conceived it convinced that they are onto a winner.
“This has something for everybody to hate,” noted Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, while Senator Chuck Schumer pointed out that it means that neither side has gotten everything that they wanted from it. Schumer met with President Barack Obama yesterday, along with fellow Gang of Eight member Senator John McCain, in order to brief him about the bill. After the meeting Obama came out in support of the bill and has urged the Senate to take action.
Obama stated that the bill was clearly a compromise, and that nobody would get everything that they wanted. “But it is largely consistent with the principles that I have repeatedly laid out for comprehensive reform. I urge the Senate to quickly move this bill forward and as I told Senators Schumer and McCain, I stand willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that comprehensive immigration reform becomes a reality as soon as possible.”
The legislation would see a dramatic overhaul of the US immigration system and create new programs for US visas for both low and highly skilled workers, increase border security and offer a path to citizenship for the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants.