After negotiating for months, eight senators, to include Charles Schumer and John McCain, came up with an immigration reform proposal that has bi-partisan support. This reform bill would allow 11 million unauthorized immigrants to become citizens in 13 years.
There was a comprehensive reform law passed in the 80's, which hasn't changed much since then and has since caused all sorts of problems, says Brad Bannon, political consultant with Bannon Communications Research. The bill that the "gang of eight" has a lot of new money for intensifying border control, including the use of drones on the border to monitor illegal immigration, says Bannon. It also provides a path to citizenship, which an overwhelming majority of Americans want, notes Bannon. "It's a long process, up to 13 years but there is a path to citizenship there," he says.
Senator Schumer has said that the bombing in Boston points out the need to reform a very antiquated immigration system and that there would be new money in there for the Department of Borderland Security and to monitor visas. Bannon doesn't see the bombing incident in Boston as an impediment to passing a reform bill.
The blow-back from Boston, Bannon notes, is more FBI and homeland security than on immigration reform. The FBI and homeland security did grant the older brother a visa and he went back and forth to Russia, due to a spelling mistake on his airline ticket.
Bannon says the house bill will probably put more stringent requirements for an immigrant becoming a citizen and that their bill will be tougher than the senate bill. Both parties have an incentive to push through immigration reform, says Bannon, which is a rare instance in Americans politics. Democrats owe a debt of gratitude to Latinos who supported democrats and President Obama and republicans are "scared to death" that if they block immigration reform, they're going to have even more trouble with the growing Latino voting population in the future, says Bannon.