POLITICS

Activists hope for landmark immigration bill

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The Senate voted on Tuesday to advance a landmark immigration bill, and on Wednesday, immigrant rights groups called on President Obama to end longtime suffering.

One of the group members is activist Oscar Alfaro, who is fighting to stay in this country. He is from Honduras, and his family lives in D.C. They came to the states more than a decade ago.

Alfaro worries that he and his family will be separated; his 14-year-old daughter, Gelin Alfaro, came to the U.S. as a toddler.

“It’s pretty hard," he says.”It's frustrating to know that President Obama can't pass immigration reform.”

The bill would ultimately offer a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, providing them with legal status right away. However, the bill bans  them from government social programs like welfare, while requiring them to wait at least 13 years for citizenship after applying.

The plan also expands visas for low-skilled workers and entrepreneurs, while also enforcing employers to check the legal status of every worker. Additionally, it would impose the toughest border security measures in history.

But it still isn't enough for some Republicans, who remain skeptical of the bill. Says House Speaker John Boehner: “Especially in the area of border security – and internal enforcement of this system – I'm concerned that it doesn’t go far enough.”

The real fights will come in the days and weeks ahead as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid aims to push the bill to final Senate passage before July 4.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.

 

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