The thousand-mile journey to comprehensive immigration reform has begun, as you might expect for Washington, with a single memo. Eight senators, four from each party, released it on Monday: a statement of principles behind a deal to overhaul the system in one big bill. It calls for more border and workplace enforcement, more visas for needed workers and legalization — with a path to citizenship — for 11 million undocumented immigrants.
The statement lacks specifics and leaves a lot of room for disappointment and retreat. But what’s encouraging is that it exists at all. No longer does the immigration debate consist of two groups yelling across a void. No longer is the discussion hopelessly immobilized by Republicans who have categorically rejected any deal that includes any hint of “amnesty.”
Full editorial available from the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/29/opinion/immigration-reform-has-finally-begun.html
From my perspective, the bipartisan immigration memo released this week is a very encouraging step in the right direction. As the NYT editorialists point out, there is a LOT to be concerned about with the proposal (the most significant being that the “pathway to citizenship” will be made conditional on reaching a level of border security that will be virtually impossible to achieve). However, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon for immigrant advocates (such as myself) that something might finally get done this year on immigration.