An interesting shift in American politics happened this week: Immigration reform was the hot-button political issue of the mid-2000s -- I covered many of the protests in Southern California, as well as security issues on the Mexican border -- but the protests died down and the topic pretty much fizzled out. With a recession in the United States, fewer immigrants were crossing illegally to find work in America. What was a combustible issue during campaign season took a backseat, even though the questions of reform and what to do about the millions already living in the United States illegally never were resolved.
Then, a new Congress decided to get together and hash out a new framework for reform, vowing that this would be the year that the legislative body passes a solution -- or at least something close to that. The lawmakers' announcement Monday upstaged President Obama's planned announcement of his own reform plan, which was scheduled to be a revival of a 2011 White House framework. Obama gave the speech in Las Vegas on the issue that he's called one of the failures of his first term.
The main difference between Obama's plan and the Senate's plan is that lawmakers have agreed to make a path to citizenship conditional upon securing the border first. Here's a comparison of the two plans.
What do you think?