October 3, 2013
Rep. Joe Garcia (D-FL) introduced the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act yesterday. H.R. 15, the immigration bill sponsored by Garcia has 120 co-sponsors, all Democrats. It compliments S. 744, the Senate immigration bill that passed earlier this year, without the border security provision.
At the news conference, Rep Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, "Every piece of this legislation has had bipartisan support and that was important to us."
It may have bipartisan support, but no Republicans have co-sponsored it yet, which could pose a problem for its passage in the Republican dominated House.
The text of the bill is not yet available online. However, CNMI Delegate Gregorio Sablan reports that the bill contains CNMI immigration provisions similar to those in S. 744.
The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee and 13 other committees.
The Delegate stated:
“The bill allows workers, who have lived here since before 2003, to stay. They can work. They can travel off-island. Then, after an additional five years of contributing to the Northern Marianas, they can apply to be U.S. permanent residents, if they want to. That’s fair and it’s good for our economy.”It may be fair if we are to believe that most members of Congress cannot distinguish between 11 million illegal aliens and 12,000 legal, long-term nonresidents. Or if we are to believe that 2003, rather than 2008 should be the qualifying year for legal aliens to be included. Fairer would be to grant all legal, foreign nonresidents who have legally resided in the CNMI for five or more years immediate permanent residency.
Still any immigration bill is better than no immigration bill. At least if a bill passes, it can be amended to make it more just.
As President Obama said of S. 744:
"None of the committee members got everything they wanted, and neither did I, but in the end, we all owe it to the American people to get the best possible result over the finish line."