As anyone in Miami who listened to the President’s State of the Union address can attest to, immigration remains at the forefront of the topics currently being batted around Washington. While this offers hope to those who were concerned that other matters would spell the end for the immigration debate for the current year, both sides of the aisle still remain far apart on certain points proposed by the immigration legislation sent forth from the Senate last year. Chief among them remains the path to U.S. citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Yet recent comments made by the President seem to indicate willingness to compromise on this issue in order the move the proposed immigration bill forward.
The immigration bill, which was endorsed by the President, allowed for a clear pathway to citizenship for illegals, provided they meet certain criteria, which includes the payment of fines and back taxes, as well as a requirement to learn to speak English. The Republican opposition has long maintained that they would not endorse such a benefit to those who are living here illegally. Yet recent comments by House Speaker John Boehner seem to imply that they would be open to allowing legal residency to such immigrants. President Obama sees these comments as an indicator that both sides might not be as far apart as it may seem, and that given certain concessions from the G.O.P., such as the guarantee that such immigrants would be allowed the option of applying for citizenship once they achieve legal residency status, he might be open to softening his stance on the issue as well.
Such a compromise would be a major step forward for those hoping to achieve legal residency and eventual citizenship for either themselves or their family members. These potential citizens may wish to keep in contact with an immigration attorney to remain up to date as new developments arise out of the federal immigration debate.
Source: The New York Times “Obama Hints He May Be Open to Immigration Deal With G.O.P.” Peter Baker, Jan. 31, 2014