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This Week in Immigration Reform: Tomorrow’s the Day

Crowds of immigrants protest in favor of comprehensive immigration reform while on the West side of Capitol Hill in Washington, April 10, 2013. (REUTERS/Larry Downing).

• Well, despite the speculation, last week came and went without a comprehensive immigration reform bill from the Senate’s “Gang of Eight.”  But with a deal reached on temporary agricultural workers, verbal commitments to a Tuesday release, and a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the bill this Friday, we’d best all set aside some reading time this week.

• Lots of details about the bill have been leaking out over the last few days.  So how will our immigration system change?  ABC’s Ted Hesson summarizes the details we know thus far, including measurable border security “triggers,” a “cut-off date” of December 31, 2011 for provisional status eligibility, future flow of immigrants more closely related to work than family, and backlog reductions.  The Los Angeles Times presents an overview of future immigration levels under the proposed reforms.  Expect pushback from a whole host of unsatisfied businesses

• Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) went “full Ginsburg” on Sunday, appearing on all five major talk shows as well as Univision and Telemundo (is “full Rubio” the new standard?).   In his interviews, he announced his support for the Gang of Eight’s forthcoming legislation, disregarding claims of amnesty and outlining the steps undocumented immigrants must take before they become eligible for citizenship.  More details are available from a blizzard of tweets by Rubio’s chief of staff Cesar Conda.

• Things are moving on the House side, too.  Rep. Bob Goodlatte will introduce some piecemeal bills in the House Judiciary Committee he chairs and moderate Democrats announced their “framework for comprehensive immigration reform”.

• New polling data continues to show the nation’s support for a pathway to citizenship.  An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds 76 percent of Americans support a “pathway to citizenship [that] would require paying fines and back taxes, as well as passing a security-background check.”  A Latino Decisions poll finds that 87 percent of undocumented Latino immigrants “would plan to apply for citizenship if immigration reform passes”.

• Here are some other interesting stories from the last week that fill in the picture:

  • Thousands marched to the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday for immigration reform and a pathway to citizenship, while thousands more showed their support in rallies throughout the country.
  • Conservative policy shops are debating the costs of comprehensive immigration reform.
  • The latest DACA numbers are in: As of March 31, over 488,000 people have applied and 268,000 have been approved.
  • NPR’s take on labor costs and the construction industry in Texas from both workers and contractors.
  • And finally, check out this slideshow about foreign students in the United States, written by my Metropolitan Policy Program colleague Neil Ruiz.

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