On Thursday, the Senate granted the most ambitious revision of the immigration system of the U.S. in a generation. With a 68-32 majority, the bill was passed in the parliament. The difference of the votes is surely to send a strong signal to the House of Representatives that the bill has wide bipartisan support and needs to be quickly passed and forwarded to the desk of President Barack Obama.
However, it seems that the Republican majority will remain reluctant to the concerns of the Senate. It also remains apathetic to the months of arguments and strenuous deal making that guided to the historic vote. The House speaker John Boehner said that the House majority would focus on only what wanted by the majority.
And, it is obvious that a solution to bipartisan immigration, which is likely to turn a huge number of undocumented immigrants into citizens, is not on the top of the list of what the majority wants. Boehner made it clear that he was not going to bring up a bill for a vote until it got the support of a majority of Republicans.
These things hint that the bill has quite uncertain prospects. However, the measure can be good for both the parties. Though not ideal in every sense, the bill is quite decent that could improve the condition of a disastrous status quo.
The measure could relieve almost 11 million people whose fate is now fluctuating on a thin line separating society and outside the law. It is likely to give those immigrants an opportunity to lead their lives without the overpowering fear of arrest and extradition. Lifting that burden has the possibility to bring something good for both those immigrants and this country.
Other good sides of the bill are that it offers the way to get quick citizenship for farmworkers and those people who came to this country at their young age. It will also allow some outcasts to return and join their family here in America. Their return will also create a reasonable future flow of short-term workers. The bill also contains reforms to the degraded detention system and securities for helpless children and women.
However, even if the bill is passed, the cost and time needed to get the citizenship will put the immigrants into a good test. Apart from other burdens, the immigrants will need minimum 13 years and have to spend hundreds of dollars per family.
Moreover, the house has a number of bills in the process, with varying degrees of direness. So, it is expected that hard-liners will try in every possible way either to pull reform more to the right or to make it dead.
Nonetheless, it can be hoped that a historic chapter on immigration will be penned down this summer.