Could 2013 be the year that Congress musters the courage to tackle comprehensive immigration reform? From what the leaders of both parties have been saying publicly since the November elections, the answer appears to be “Yes!”
If this week is any sign as to what is possible, the issue appears to have at least a fair chance of bipartisan legislation in both chambers. However, since Congress likely will confront a series of contentious issues (such as gun control and sequestration) before turning to immigration reform, only time will tell if these earlier debates will help launch the issue forward in both chambers or set the issue back for another decade.
SHRM’s new affiliate, the American Council on International Personnel (ACIP), recently put forward a short video clip on what it hoped to hear about the immigration reform system during President Obama’s State of the Union address, as well as Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) GOP response to the president’s address (pictured at right). With hopes of hearing messages that reform our laws to welcome top foreign national talent, provide enough green cards to eliminate backlogs and not create new backlogs, provide employers with a secure federal electronic employment verification system, and increase efficiencies through a “trusted employer” program – ACIP was not disappointed.
Specifically in his State of the Union address, President Obama said, “And real reform means fixing the legal immigration system to cut waiting periods, reduce bureaucracy, and attract the highly skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy ... Now let’s get this done. Send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months, and I will sign it right away.” Sen. Rubio then echoed a similar message during the GOP response on a need to reform our legal immigration system to attract the best and brightest to America.
To learn more about ACIP, visit http://www.acip.com. To view ACIP’s principles for immigration reform, visit http://www.acip.com/principles-for-immigration-reform.