An Immigration Blueprint

us congressThe New York Times, 4/16/13

Huge news from the scorched desert of immigration reform: germination! At last there is a bill, the product of a bipartisan group of senators who have been working on it for months, that promises at least the hope of citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. It is complicated, full of mechanisms and formulas meant to tackle border security, the allocation of visas, methods of employment verification and the much-debated citizenship path.

Twitter analysts spent all day Tuesday parsing just the 17-page outline that was unveiled ahead of the actual bill. There will be much to chew on in coming weeks, but it is worth a moment to marvel at the bill’s mere existence, and at the delicate balancing of competing interests that coaxed this broad set of compromises into being.

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Immigration in Spotlight as Senators Tour Arizona

Border Fence Arizona and MexicoThe New York Times, 3/27/13

Four United States senators came to this bustling city on the Mexican border on Wednesday searching for answers to the question that has ensnarled the debate over immigration reform:How secure is that border? They met Border Patrol agents, hovered over the region by helicopter to appreciate its challenges and magnitude, and visited one of the ports of entry here, where people and cargo cross back and forth all day and night.

Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, whose office organized the tour, said that while there has been progress, the border “is still not as secure as we want it to be or expect it to be.” Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, who was visiting the border for the first time, said the tour helped deepen an understanding of the region, but that there were “many other things we have to do as well,” like controlling the flow of people coming into the country and providing a path to citizenship for “these 11 million immigrants who are in the shadows.”

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