The end of March was supposed to be the self-imposed deadline the "Gang of Eight" gave for having a completed immigration reform bill. But with the nation fast moving into the third week in April, it's clear that this deadline has been pushed back. But as Sen. John McCain explained to reporters recently, he believes that he and the remaining legislators may have finally ironed out all of the kinks and are almost ready to present the proposed bill to Congress.
But despite the senator's confidence in the soon-to-be completion of the bill, he also has his doubts about it. "There will be a great deal of unhappiness about this proposal," he explains. Because of the "entrenched positions" many legislators had on the issues surrounding immigration law, it was not easy to give everyone exactly what they wanted.
Compromises abound, the legislators charged with drafting the bill feel they have finally addressed the major issues facing the immigration system. Their focus was primarily on: border security, immigration employment and foreign workers, and the process of offering citizenship to the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.
The toughest decision has included the debate over a new low-skilled worker program. So far, the proposed bill would allow for up to 200,000 workers per year to come into the country and fill positions in industries where employers are saying they can't find American workers to fill. This won't include the agricultural industry which is currently struggling with the United Farm Workers over wages.
Though probably still a few days off, it looks as if residents here in Florida and across the nation could see a change in immigration policy that could very well make the path to citizenship even wider than before.
Source: The Washington Post, "Public phase of immigration debate set to begin as Senate negotiators finalize deal," The Associated Press, April 8, 2013