The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


April 21, 2013

Advocates of Immigration Reform Fight Back Against Push for Delay



"I agree with Senator Grassley," Sen. Daniel Coats, R-Ind., said on ABC News's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos." He warned, "You usually end up with bad policy if you do it in an emotional way or an emotional reaction."

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., another member of the bipartisan group of senators, cautioned against using the Boston bombings as an obstacle against overhaul efforts, about which some conservatives were skeptical even before the attack. "We're not going to let them use what happened in Boston as an excuse because our law toughens things up," Schumer, the Senate's third-ranking Democrat, said on "State of the Union."

The Judiciary Committee is set to hold its second hearing on the immigration bill Monday.

Senators involved in drafting the bipartisan proposal have emphasized that the legislation would devote billions of dollars to pay for additional surveillance drones, new fencing and 3,500 customs agents to help secure the border with Mexico. The Department of Homeland Security would be required to establish an entry-and-exit-tracking system to monitor immigrants who overstay their visas, and U.S. companies would be required to set up an electronic verification system to identify undocumented workers.

President Barack Obama and most Democrats have pushed for an expedited pace for the legislation, arguing that the main provisions in the bill have been debated in Congress many times, including in 2007 when a comprehensive proposal died in the Senate. The bipartisan Senate group has said it hopes to have a bill out of committee and onto the Senate floor by early June.

With the Boston attack emerging as an issue in the immigration debate, the senators and their aides stressed that their bill offers the opportunity to learn more about illegal immigrants, something they say will make the county safer. The bill offers a path to legal status and eventually citizenship for illegal immigrants. The path for those who qualify begins with a registered provisional status and would involve paying a fine, some taxes, and undergoing a background check.

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