May 17, 2013
Hopes that America’s 11 million undocumented migrants might be granted a pathway to US citizenship have risen significantly after a bipartisan group of politicians in the House of Representatives reached a tentative deal on reforming the country’s immigration laws.
The agreement for comprehensive immigration reform brings the House in line with efforts in the US Senate to bring undocumented migrants, who are mainly Hispanics, out of the shadows. Though details of the proposals are yet to be disclosed, they are understood to broadly echo those enshrined in the Senate bill, with a pathway to citizenship coupled with a toughening of security at the Mexican border.
The announcement on Thursday night that a deal in principle had been reached was all the more dramatic because the search for compromise between the four Republican members of the House “group of eight” negotiators and their Democratic counterparts came close to breaking down earlier in the week. The group of eight is highly diverse, with John Carter and Sam Johnson, both of Texas, coming from the right of the Republican party, while Democrats Xavier Becerra of California and Luis Gutierrez of Illinois are both members of the congressional Hispanic caucus.