Sec. Janet Napolitano pitches immigration reform in Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA - June 12, 2013 (WPVI) -- Formal debate got underway in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday over landmark immigration reform.
It's an issue that President Obama is making a cornerstone of his second term in office.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano visited Philadelphia to talk about the president's plan.
Napolitano said she experienced problems with our nation's immigration policy while serving as governor of Arizona, and insists the president has it right with his latest reform proposals.
"Let's deal with reality, let's bring them out of the shadows. They pay a fine, a fee, they have to undergo a background check," Napolitano said.
The proposed legislation would create a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants already here.
It would also change the visa program to attract workers from other countries, boost security along the border and keep an eye on those already in the homeland.
"We really want to go after those who committed other crimes, for example, fugitives, our repeat violators of the nation's immigration laws," Napolitano said.
Napolitano spoke to Action News here at the local immigration office, and it's hard to discount the fact that there are two potential swing votes in the Senate right in our region.
The Senate overwhelmingly voted to begin debate on an immigration reform package on Tuesday.
Democrats may lean on Republican Sen. Pat Toomey to help break a filibuster when the bill goes up for a vote.
They may also turn to newly-seated Sen. Jeff Chiesa, the Republican from New Jersey.
Senators began proposing amendments to the bill Wednesday.
philadelphia, immigration, president barack obama, inside politics, matt o'donnell
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