Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Some Immigrant Advocates Willing to Give in on Path to Citizenship?

Say it aint' so.

From the Washington Post:

Some influential immigration advocates said Tuesday that they could live with legislation that offers legal status, but not a designated path to citizenship, for the 11 million people living in the country illegally, suggesting there may be more common ground in the immigration debate than is readily apparent.

Key Republicans have said they could support legal status for those in the country without permission. But they have balked at what they call a “special path” for them to obtain citizenship, as provided in a bill that passed the Senate this summer. That legislation allows most of this group to obtain green cards—or legal permanent residency–after a set period of time, which automatically gives someone the chance to apply for citizenship.

How to handle those in the country illegally is the most politically dicey aspect of the immigration debate. Democrats and immigration advocates have said that to offer anything short of citizenship is to create a permanent second class of residents. But many Republicans say it is wrong to reward people who broke the law.

It is unclear whether House Republican leaders will bring any legislation to the floor this year. The calendar is crowded with must-do legislation on fiscal matters, and immigration is a sensitive topic that would likely require leadership to defy the wishes of the party’s conservative wing. It would also require bipartisan cooperation in a chamber that has shown little of it.

On Tuesday, several advocates said they were open to compromise on the issue of citizenship, hoping that GOP leaders will see the policy differences between the parties as surmountable. Read more...



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