Ambitious immigration plan stops short of amnesty

President Barack Obama will soon be pushing for a big change to immigration law in the United States that would offer a form of conditional amnesty for around 11 million undocumented workers in the country as well as allowing for the importation of more skilled and unskilled workers and the speeding up of US visas for the relatives of newcomers.

Obama’s plan, which was sketched out via a leak to the New York Times on January 11th, immediately won plaudits from the major Hispanic lobby group known as the National Council of La Raza.  The bill does not, however, include provisions that are favored by a number of immigration advocates including Numbers USA, which wishes to spur the employment of American workers.  The legislative goals of that group include cutting down on the flow of workers with minor skills as well as a reduction in the amount of green cards for family reunification that are provided to the relatives of new arrivals.

Progressive advocates and ethnic lobbyists believe that they can succeed in winning passage of the White House bill in part because Republican Party leaders are still in shock from Obama’s election victory in November, which occurred partly due to strong support from the Latino community.

The White House says that the 11 million illegal immigrants believed to be in the country are not being given a simple amnesty as it will force them to pay back taxes and include fines and various hurdles if they wish to become citizens.