Future of immigration reform looks hopeful


MCT Photo

Latin American immigrants march on the streets of Washington in front of the Capital building. While immigrants from Latin America are not the only undocumented immigrants, they definitely make up the vast majority.

A divided government usually creates an excess of gridlock between the opposing parties. This inability of Congress to come together and make decisions causes problems for a large group of people— 11.5 million to be exact.

That is how many immigrants currently live in the United States without the proper documentation. Frustration has been mounting since politicians announced they would not look at immigration reform before or during midterm elections.

“We need to try to understand the reason why people come into this country, because often times it is out of desperation,” Spanish teacher Ms. Meredith Blackmore said.

Now, that elections are over, immigrants all over the country are waiting for news of reform, and they are finally getting just that.

On Jan. 15 the Senate introduced the Innovation Immigration Act, or I Squared Act. The bill would drastically expand the number of available visas for temporary high-skilled workers, raising the existing cap of 65,000 to 115,000.

Another bi-partisan bill, the Startup Act, would create a new type of visa for entrepreneurs looking to start companies in the United States.

“Anything that is inclusive and can help others contribute to this country is a good thing, and helping them get identification would definitely be a positive,” Blackmore said.

Neither bill is entirely new, as both have had versions of them presented to Congress before. However, in the light of recent issues with masses of immigrants coming into the country, Congress may now have an ear to lend.

“We as a country of immigrants should try to make it an easier transition for recent immigrants coming into this country to become part of a collective identity,” Blackmore said.