While a recent Gallup polls show that Americans’ confidence in Congress has fallen to 10%, there may still be hope for those in Washington to win back support as immigration reform reaches one step closer to becoming a reality.
On Monday the Senate had a procedural vote to approve an amendment to the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill that would increase border security. While this was just a vote to end the debate on the amendment proposed by Republican Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota and Republican Senator Bob Croker of Tennessee, it did pass 67-27, allowing the Senators to formally vote to pass the amendment. The amendment proposes a total of $40 billion, 40,000 border security agents, and 700 miles of fencing dedicated to border security. Businesses would also be required to check E-Verify–a system that provides information on a person’s immigration status.
President Obama wants to see this bill move swiftly through Congress. “I hope we can get the strongest possible vote out of the Senate so that we can move to the House and get this done before the summer break,” President Obama said after meeting with business leaders who support the immigration bill.
Yet many members of the House GOP oppose a key provision of the Senate, a pathway to citizenship for people who are already in the country illegally, which could cause a problem when it enters the House floor. A Pew Research Center poll shows 14% say it’s very likely legislation will be signed this year, while 39% say it is somewhat likely and 44% say it won’t happen.
The part of the bill that has Americans split is the question of when illegal immigrants should be allowed to pursue citizenship. A USA Today/ Pew Research poll shows 49% believe undocumented immigrants should not be allowed to pursue citizenship until the borders are secured, as opposed to 43% who support the pursuit of citizenship while the border is in the process of being secured.
However, despite the controversy surrounding the immigration bill, New Jersey Senator Chuck Schumer saw Monday’s vote as a victory: