The last week has seen a series of heated debates in the U.S. Senate regarding major changes to the U.S. immigration system. These changes may make lasting changes to current U.S. policy that would enable numerous individuals to seek gainful employment in the U.S. In addition, proposed changes would effect the enforcement of immigration law in the U.S. These debates surround the Kennedy/McCain Bill, that was proposed by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in late March of this year which contains numerous measures that are favorable to immigration and immigrants.
It is important to note, however, that these proposed measures are still at an early stage in the legislative process. The amendments will first go through a series of discussions on the Senate floor, in which the Senate as a whole will decide which (if any) of these amendments will be included in the final version of the Kennedy/McCain Bill. If the bill then passes the Senate, it will need to be processed through the House of Representatives. The House has already passed an immigration bill that was focused only on enforcement of issues (and was quite anti-immigrant in content). A House Conference Committee will have to be convened to discuss the Senate’s Bill. The House and the Senate will then need to approve the finalized bill before it can be sent to the President to be signed into law.