GOP to introduce immigration Bill
With the Senate set to take up the immigration debate, a group of Republican Senators announced their plan to introduce on Monday a comprehensive Bill that, among other things, intends to push for merit-based immigration reform and reduction of the Green Card backlog that has hit Indian high-skilled professionals in particular.
Modelled on President Donald Trump’s immigration framework, the “Secure and Succeed Act”, as the Bill is called, proposes to lay out an “earned path to citizenship” for 1.8 million illegal, young immigrants, popularly known as “Dreamers”.
In return, the seven Republican Senators led by Richard Grassley, who have co-sponsored the Bill, have mooted a $25 billion Border Trust Fund that must be competed under a 10-year border security plan. Without using the word ‘wall’ as such, the summary of the bill talks of “tactical infrastructure, detection technology, personnel and port of entry improvement”.
As proposed by Trump, the Bill seeks to end the diversity visa lottery programme and reallocate the 55,000 visas saved on this score toward reducing the green card backlog faced primarily by employment-based legal immigrants.
The Bill would also place new limits on family-based immigration — a feature unacceptable to many Democrats, whose support will be needed for any immigration plan to clear the Senate since a 60-vote threshold is mandatory. There are only 51 Republicans in the 100-member chamber.
“Our proposal is supported by the President, who’s come a long way to reach a compromise. This is the only Senate proposal that has any chance of passing the House and being signed into law,” Senator Grassley said in a statement, adding: “If my colleagues are serious about actually finding a real and permanent solution to the DACA crisis, they should be ready and willing to support this compromise.” Apart from Grassley, the Bill has been co-sponsored by Senators John Cornyn, Thom Tillis, David Perdue, James Lankford, Tom Cotton and Joni Ernst. “The legislation prospectively limits family-based immigration to the nuclear family and reallocates the Diversity Visa lottery. Their proposal generously grandfathers all pending family-based visa applications in order to reward those who chose to follow the law and immigrate legally. The allotment for the Diversity Visa lottery will be reallocated to reduce this backlog and the employment-based visa backlog,” they said in a statement.
On DACA, they said the Bill provides “a rare opportunity to fix a real problem and protect the country in a thoughtful and compassionate way. We simply have to correct the loopholes in current law that allow dangerous criminals to enter and remain at large in our country.”
They said the new legislation is “a reasonable approach to shielding children illegally brought to our country through no fault of their own while also taking the meaningful steps to ensure nobody findsthemselves in the same situation in the future”.
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