Politics

Capitol Hill set to tackle immigration reform

Monday, April 08, 2013

Capitol Hill is set to begin tackling the issue of immigration reform. Senate negotiators are working to finalize the chamber's bipartisan proposal. That decision could eventually grant citizenship to an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants.

The Senate is much closer to introducing a comprehensive immigration bill in the coming weeks and House members say they are not far behind. "Under the best circumstances, we could possibly be voting in June or July on a measure," said Congressman Jim Costa.

Rep. Costa said both democrats and republicans are coming together to push for a bipartisan bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship to the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants. "The voters made clear the notion that self-deportation was not going to be a solution to this problem," said Costa.

"It's not very often that the starts line up for us to be able to do immigration reform," said Congressman Devin Nunes. Nunes said immigration is a complex issue and doubts a single bill can successfully reform the nation's broken immigration system. "It could mean we move maybe some pieces of legislation. The Senate claims they're going to have a comprehensive fix all-inclusive. I've never seen the Congress truly do something all-inclusive to solve all the problems but obviously we're still hopeful."

One component both Valley lawmakers are pushing for is agricultural interests.

Manuel Cunha with the Nisei Farmers League said he's been working with lawmakers to resolve Ag issues stalling a compromise. One of them being a worker permit program that will help ease the Valley's labor shortage. "The worker knows that they are here legally and they don't have to fear homeland security coming after them," said Cunha. "And the farmer now has certainty of his labor pool."

Among the many other layers included in the Senate's 1,500 page proposal -- border security tops the list.

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Tags:
immigration reform, politics, carlos saucedo
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