What Is the 2015 Immigration Reform Bill?


Quick Answer

The 2015 Immigration Reform Bill is a misnomer for the executive action taken by President Barack Obama in an effort to salvage the failed attempts to pass meaningful immigration reforms. Going over the heads of Congress, the President introduced a new program that would let approximately 4 million illegal immigrants legally reside and work in the United States, according to The New York Times.

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Full Answer

President Obama's executive actions were an effort to revitalize legislation known as the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, S. 744, more commonly referred to as the 2013 Immigration Reform Bill. The bill was devised by a bipartisan group of eight Senators and introduced to Congress on April 16, 2013. The intent was to create a pathway for undocumented immigrants to obtain legal residency and working status as well as eventual citizenship, explains the American Immigration Council.

In addition, the bill would improve the process by which high-skilled workers could legally obtain entry to the United States. There would also be a program to allow several hundred thousand low-skilled workers, particularly construction and agricultural workers, to legally work in the United States for two years. In an effort to appease Republicans, S.744 would introduce tougher border security measures to help ensure that all migrants go through the rigorous screening process before entering the country. The 2013 reforms would double the number of border patrol agents and increase the Border Security budget to almost $46 billion, according to Politico.

On June 27, 2013, the Senate passed the bill 68 to 32, reports the official website for Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. However, the House of Representatives has not voted on the initiative, as of December 2015.

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