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    Hopes for reform rise as Congress resumes

    By admin | January 4, 2007

    As US Congress resumes its work this week, New York’s Irish Echo says that expectations are rising that that the Senate will pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill by spring. Ray O’Hanlon says a Senate bill on the issue, written by Senator Edward Kennedy and Senator John McCain, is slated for unveiling in January; a two to three month period of deliberation is likely. This bill will be similar to last year’s McCain/Kennedy reform bill, but it may not require undocumented immigrants to first leave the US before undergoing the process of earning legal US residence. This would be a significant improvement, as current legislation would ban undocumented immigrants from returning to the US for periods as long as ten years.

    The report says the House of Representatives is likely to take longer to pass its own immigration measure, although it is now being written by Democratic Representative Luis Gutierez and Republican Representative Jeff Flake. The battle over immigration reform is likely to be more contentious in the House; some of the incoming Democratic senators had campaigned against measures that would legalise the undocumented.

    Meanwhile, the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform is planning to rally in Washington on March 7.

    Read more on the Irish Echo website.

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