After tackling health care in his first term, it looks like President Barack Obama has set his sights on waging another big battle in his second term in office – immigration reform.
The president is expected to discuss his plans for reform on Tuesday during a trip to Nevada, but a bi-partisan group of Senators intends to beat him to the punch. The group of eight Senators includes Florida’s own Republican Marco Rubio, according to the Huffington Post.
Their plan, which will be more fully announced today, Jan. 28, calls for a multifaceted approach to reform with such prongs as:
- Border security
- Workplace enforcement
- A pathway to citizenship
The Senate group, however, wants to make sure the first two points are adequately addressed by the country before the pathway opens.
"Once the enforcement measures have been completed, individuals with probationary legal status will be required to go to the back of the line of prospective immigrants, pass an additional background check, pay taxes, learn English and civics, demonstrate a history of work in the United States, and current employment, among other requirements, in order to earn the opportunity to apply for lawful permanent residency,” their draft agreement reads. “Those individuals who successfully complete these requirements can eventually earn a green card."
Americans seem to be warming to the idea of creating a pathway for undocumented immigrants to become citizens. According to the Huffington Post, a recent poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies showed that 77 percent of voters now favor an immigration package that includes a path to citizenship.
Here’s what we want your thoughts on Tampa Bay: Do you think it’s time for immigration reform? Do you support opening a pathway to citizenship for America’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants? How would you like to see the issue handled? Share your thoughts in the comments section.