Progress and momentum toward Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2013 continues to build. On March 31, senators from the “Gang of 8” announced that they had reached substantive agreement on the reform. While the language of the bill has yet to be drafted, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced that he expects the parameters of the plan to be announced next week. One of the biggest breakthroughs came last week when business leaders and labor leaders agreed on a proposal for a W-visa for low-skilled workers. The W-visa would be a guest worker program which has long been a point of contention in immigration reform proposals. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told ABC News that he believed that the agreement between business and labor on the parameters of the W-visa program was the last major substantive hurdle for negotiations.
While there will be many specifics to work out, as the language of the bill is drafted, it appears that there will be a bi-partisan piece of legislation coming out of the “Gang of 8” for consideration by the rest of Congress. If that compromise legislation is acceptable to enough representatives and senators, the dream of Comprehensive Immigration Reform may become a reality this year.
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