Last week, a group of Democratic and Republican senators met to discuss the possibility of immigration reform legislation to address the growing number of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. While there were no agreements on core issues at the initial meeting, both sides considered the meeting a “promising start,” per The Hill.
The starting demands for both sides include a Republican demand for a streamlined asylum process to stem the release of migrant children into the U.S., and a Democrat demand to provide citizenship to “Dreamers,” or children brought into the country as undocumented minors. Senator Durbin, who arranged the meeting, also invited the Biden administration to join the proceedings.
While the Republicans are focused on border security, it appears that both sides may be approaching a deal soon.
Bipartisan Bill Would Increase Staffing at Immigration Agencies
Only days after the meeting, a new bill was introduced by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). The bill would authorize new hires and larger staffs at immigration agencies, as well as streamlining immigration court proceedings. The bill would also allow for the building of four regional processing centers on the border to process migrants more quickly. Both Sinema and Cornyn plan on meeting with Durbin to discuss their legislation.
The bill has been praised by the American Business Immigration Coalition and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Our firm supports any efforts to increase staffing at immigration agencies and speed up processing, as the visa backlog and other major immigration obstacles are currently keeping the system from functioning properly. Our immigrant neighbors deserve a faster and easier way to become legal residents, and these bipartisan efforts are a good step.