The 2013 immigration reform bill is an important piece of legislation. This proposed bill has been passed in the Senate, but has yet to see the same success in the House. The law contains policies relating to a number of different immigration aspects. These subjects include family and employment-based visa categories, due process protections, nonimmigrant workers, and providing legal status for 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.
The bill is known as S. 744 and was written by a bipartisan group of eight Senators referred to as the “Gang of Eight.” These Senators include: Charles Schumer (D-NY), John McCain (R-AZ), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Marco Rubio (R-Fl), Michael Bennet (D-Co), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ).
This post will take a closer look at the Gang of Eight and will provide some information about these Senators and why they have been working so hard on this proposed legislation.
- Charles Schumer: As one of the leading democrats in this legislation, he is confident that the reform will eventually pass. Schumer was influential in the Emergency Border Security Supplemental Appropriations Act in 2010, providing more than $600 million to increase border security.
- John McCain: McCain is no stranger to the spotlight. He has been a proponent of immigration reform for years. He was quoted as saying “[w]e have been too content for too long to allow individuals to mow our lawns, grow our food, clean our homes, and even watch our children while not affording them any of the benefits that make our country so great.”
- Richard Durbin: Durbin serves as the Majority Senate Whip and was the main author of the DREAM Act.
- Lindsey Graham: Graham has taken a firm stance on border security and has stated that this security should precede comprehensive reform.
- Robert Menendez: Menendez was a co-sponsor of DREAM Act legislation in 2011. The Act called for the ability of immigrant students to have legal citizenship if they passed a background check, came to the U.S. as children, and completed two years of college or military service. That DREAM Act failed to become law.
- Marco Rubio: Rubio is no doubt one of the standouts in this group. He only joined the Senate in 2011, but has already made some bold statements. He insists that any pathway to citizenship program should not be implemented until the Mexican border is more secure.
- Michael Bennet: The Colorado Senator has previously signed state legislation related to immigration reform and has also supported the DREAM Act.
- Jeff Flake: A fairly new Senator, Flake has publicly stated the importance of collaborating with all border state senators.
Currently, the bill is awaiting consideration by the House. In this situation, the House may introduce its own comprehensive package, but will more likely pursue a piecemeal approach. If the House passes a different version of the bill than what was passed by the Senate, the bill will need to be reconciled. This proposed immigration reform bill contains a lot of information and speaks to numerous policies. If you are currently facing legal matters related to immigration, contact my office today.