Both the president’s plan and the bipartisan Senate blueprint proposals have legalization with a roadmap to citizenship in common. The process will not be automatic, and, in fact, will be very rigorous, including background checks and fines. While the details differ, and have yet to be hammered out, the fact that both proposals coincide in this area is tremendously significant and acknowledges where the American public stands on the issue.
There will surely be loud detractors, many of whom still subscribe to the fantasy of self-deportation. But the majority of Americans want to see immigrants get right with the law, pledge allegiance to this country and help build its future. There are enough members of Congress who understand the moral, economic and political imperatives of getting this done.
Latino voters generated the game-changing moment in the immigration debate last November, opening the opportunity for us to finally reach the solution our country longs for. An average of 878,000 Latino U.S. citizens will turn 18 every year now and until 2028. They are engaged, they are watching and they will not forget.
Janet Murguía, Washington
The writer is president and chief executive of National Council of La Raza.