The issue of immigration reform has been the topic of many political debates over the past year, both in Louisiana and throughout the nation. The issue was so divisive that many had given up on the possibility of passing immigration legislation in 2014. However, all hope is not lost. Speaker of the House John Boehner announced last month that he was determined to handle the issue this year. Other Republicans of the House, such as Representative Bob Goodlatte, agree that it is possible for action to occur before the year ends. Goodlatte may have indicated that reform in 2014 was possible by preparing to vote on several related bills this summer.
With many undocumented immigrants fearing deportation and US immigration law still in limbo, it is important that these issues are dealt with as soon as possible. House leaders plan to have legislation ready for debate early this summer.
Representative Mario Diaz-Balart from Florida is in the process of drafting the legislation. This legislation will allow qualifying undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States legally, and give them the chance to apply for citizenship. The bill also deals with security at the border and the backlog of permanent legal status applications.
The Department of Homeland Security is currently reviewing deportation policy, which could affect when this bill is debated. The Senate passed an immigration bill last year, but the House has not acted on it. Boehner reported that the House has trouble trusting President Obama, hence the standstill. The Obama Administration is still doing whatever they can to make improvements. Some changes will be in effect in the new few weeks and if the House continues to hold up legislation, there may be additional changes may be underway later this year. Those who may be affected by updates to US immigration law will want to stay tuned to understand how changes may impact their lives.
Source: KFYO.com, "Chad's Morning Brief: Boehner Tells Group That Immigration Bills Are Still In The Mix, Obama Wants Democrats To Defense Obamacare, And Other Top Stories," Chad Hasty, April 18, 2014