Path to Citizenship Next in Immigration Bill Markup


The pathway to citizenship is undoubtedly one of the key provisions of the 844-page comprehensive immigration reform bill. Today is the day that the Senate Judiciary Committee begins marking up that portion of the bill.

Some of the proposed amendments relating to the path to citizenship could make it more inclusive or eliminate it altogether.

We can’t allow the markup process to make the pathway to citizenship any more difficult. Please continue to let our elected officials know that the American public supports a fair and direct pathway to citizenship so that 11 million undocumented immigrants can come out of the shadows and contribute fully to our economy.

The immigration bill has so far withstood the slew of attacks from conservatives aiming to derail the reform effort.

One of the more contentious proposals thus far has been the implementation of a biometric exit system at airports to track when visa holders leave the country. Supporters say this would significantly reduce future illegal immigration by tracking those who overstay visas, but opponents say that implementing the system would be much too costly and time consuming.

A key compromise was made on Monday which calls for such a system to be in place within two years at 10 of the country’s airports with the busiest international travel. Six years after the bill is law, the system would need to be at the top 30 airports with the most international traffic.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has been steadily moving through the more than 300 amendments proposed for the immigration bill. At the current pace, the markup process could finish this week and the bill could go on the floor for a vote by early June.

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