'Gang of Eight' immigration proposal due soon

Proposal said to include 13-year path to citizenship

The bipartisan Senate group known as the Gang of Eight is expected to unveil its long-awaited version of comprehensive immigration reform that is said to include a 13-year path to citizenship.

But freshman Texas Rep. Pete Gallego said that aspect of the proposal should be meaningful.

“It can’t be so hard that people won’t be able to do it because then you have a pathway to citizenship that’s a pathway in name only,” Gallego said.

Gallego is a Democrat representing the 23rd Congressional district.

Longtime Rep. Lamar Smith said, “Congress should oppose policies like amnesty that put the interests of lawbreakers above U.S. citizens and legal immigrants.”

Smith, a Republican, represents the 21st Congressional district.

Still Gallego said he expects a vote in the next several months, despite the issue’s deep-rooted politics.

However, Smith said Congress and the American people need more time to study the proposal.

“Over here, you want it to be easy. Over here, you want it to be hard. You got to come into the middle ground,” Gallego said.

However, Smith said reaching that point remains difficult.

“We still have a long way to go both in the House and the Senate,” Smith said. “There are going to be a lot of legitimate questions.”

Gallego said polls indicate the American public wants immigration reform, instead of a political stalemate.

The bill is expected to include further border security, guest worker provisions and more.

Gallego said, “It’s a complicated bill with a lot of moving parts, but the principles are not difficult.”

For a list of recent stories Jessie Degollado has done, click here.


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