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January 29, 2013

Congress Moves on Immigration Reform

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Teachers: this video contains an approx. 3-minute story followed by a 9-minute discussion.

Senators from both sides of the aisle recently came together to propose immigration reform legislation that would create a path to legal citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people now estimated to be living in the United States.

Immigration reform became a hot topic after last year’s election when 7 out of every 10 Latino American votes went to support President Obama. Republicans and Democrats alike are looking to build support for their parties among the growing Latino community.
” The Republican Party is losing the support of our Hispanic citizens. And we realize that there are many issues in which we think we are in agreement with our Hispanic citizens, but this is a preeminent issue with those citizens,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y. agreed, saying, “The politics on this issue have been turn upside-down. For the first time ever, there’s more political risk in opposing immigration reform than in supporting it.”

In addition to creating a path to citizenship, the proposal will give more green cards to highly educated immigrants and allow more lower-skilled workers into the country. It will also add crack down on those hiring illegal workers, beef up border security and improve government tracking of current visa holders.

The “Gang of 8″ who proposed the legislation hope to have it passed by summer.


Quotes

“We are dealing with 11 million human beings who are here undocumented, the vast and enormous majority of whom have come here in pursuit of what all of us would recognize as the American dream. And that’s what we endeavor to move forward here on,” – Sen. Marco Rubio (R – Fla.).

“The politics on this issue have been turn upside-down. For the first time ever, there’s more political risk in opposing immigration reform than in supporting it,” – Sen. Charles Schumer (D – N.Y.).

Warm up questions

1. What does the term “immigrant” mean?

2. What is a green card?

3. What do you know about immigration in America?

Discussion questions

1. Do you think undocumented workers who have been in the U.S. for a certain length of time should be able to apply for U.S. citizenship? Why or why not?

2. Do you think Republican support of this bill will encourage more Latinos to cast their votes for Republicans? Why or why not?

3. What do you think is the most important part of this proposal? Why?

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