Bipartisan immigration policy reform in the works in Senate

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Bipartisan immigration policy reform in the works in Senate

Undocumented farm workers would be affected by new policy. 

Undocumented farm workers would be affected by new policy. 

Undocumented farm workers would be affected by new policy. 

Undocumented farm workers would be affected by new policy. 

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After decades of debate on immigration policy, a solution might finally be in sight.

A group of Republican and Democratic senators have announced a new plan that they hope will reform immigration policy. The group’s leader is Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

The group released their plan in January, a day before President Barack Obama delivered a speech in Nevada about immigration reform. The bipartisan plan may not be perfect, but it is the only solution to reform immigration.

The plan would allow undocumented immigrants to register with the government, pay a fine, and given a probationary legal status to work. To receive permanent legal status, they have to go to back of the line and apply. The plan would also grant citizenship for students who were brought the U.S. as children.

This deal also wants to stop the so-called “brain drain” in America by granting more green cards to people who have a master’s and Ph.D. degrees in science and math fields.

The proposal also adds enhanced border security to prevent more illegal immigration.

These are a few of the proposals that the “Gang of Eight,” the group of senators proposing the bill, hopes to be in the immigration reform bill, but their plan is short on specifics. Ultimately specifics will come when there is a full bill.

One thing is clear about this plan—it is not amnesty. Undocumented immigrants will have to pay a fine, yet to be determined, for illegally entering the country.

Immigration reform is something that both parties want to pass, but the Republicans really need it. The GOP has to get on board with this plan, or else it would be another nail in their coffin.

Seventy percent of Latinos voted for President Obama during the last election, according to ABC News. It is obvious that from this point on, the Latino vote is possibly the most important block in the electorate. Without Latinos, the GOP may become irrelevant in the future.

Because they have the Latino vote, the Democrats will be better off regardless of the immigration bill passing Congress. If immigration reform fails, blame would fall on voters, which would have severe consequences in the 2014 midterms.

Ultimately, immigration is either going to help or break the GOP. It will help the GOP by making them look like they actually care about a significant portion of the population.

It could also break the party because some of the more conservative Tea Party members view this plan as amnesty. An influential Tea Party website run by Erick Erickson said that the plan was “clearly written by a group of men who seemingly love government, but do not love free markets, small businesses, or individuals.”

Erickson’s view is simply wrong. Many of the undocumented immigrants here would like to run their own small business. This plan is as capitalistic as they come.

If the Republican Party plans to recapture the White House in 2016, they must take the step of joining with the Democrats and reform immigration.