Local Reaction To Proposed Immigration Reform Bill

By: Ryan Dearbone Email
By: Ryan Dearbone Email

Politicians on Capitol Hill are working feverishly on a new comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill.

This new version would make the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants eligible for permanent U.S. citizenship.

The bill would require illegal immigrants get a temporary Visa.

They would have to pass certain security checks, an English proficiency test, and pay a fine of $5,000.

They would then be required to return to their home country and re-enter the United States.

Bowling Green International Center's Executive Director James Robinson is in favor of the proposed immigration bill.

He says if its passed it will bring about freedom for all of the immigrants.

" I think that with this change in immigration, they will not be afraid to come out in the community be part of the community in a more active way," says Robinson.

However, Western Kentucky University Political Science professor John Peterson isn't sold on the bill just yet.

He says there are several issues the current bill doesn't seem to address.

One of those issues is whether or not to legalize immigrants already living in the states without sending them back to their native country first.

Legalizing illegal undocumented workers in this country is just something some people can't abide because in their view, you'd be rewarding illegal behavior.

Robinson says that part of the deal may have some immigrants a little nervous.

"What if this is a hoax? What if we're being set up to go back home and not get to come back? I think once you get a taste of living in America with all of its freedoms and benefits You really don't want to give it up," he says.

Peterson hopes that measures on border control are also addressed in the final bill.

"If an effective border control regime were created then presumably it'd be more difficult for future generations of would-be immigrants to cross into the United States," says Peterson.

Both men agree that by the time the bill makes it through both the House Of Representatives and Senate it will mostly likely have a different look.

The deadline for Congress to begin debating the bill has been delayed until next Monday.

The bill's writers are in the midst of completing the first draft and drumming-up support among Democrats and Republicans.


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