The Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday approved a bill aimed at reforming U.S. immigration policy. Reaction is mixed in Georgia.
The bill proposes tightening border security, adds new worker programs, and includes a path to citizenship for immigrants in the U.S. illegally. Helen Kim Ho, the executive director and lead attorney for the Asian American Legal Advocacy Center of Georgia, says although the bill is an important step forward, it doesn’t address family reunification visas.
“Family reunification is the principal way Asians as a whole immigrate to the U.S.,” she says, “And there was an amendment proposed by Sen. Hirono, from Hawaii, to make aspects of family reunification easier, and it was voted down. So, you know, that was a disappointment.”
Some local TEA Party groups oppose the bill. Bob Ross, with the Fayette County Issues TEA Party, doesn’t think the bill will “fix” the country’s immigration system. But, he agrees the visa system needs work.
“We have a lot of people that come in legally on visas, but overstay those visas, and at that point, it’s not legal, and we just don’t do a good job of keeping up with all of that,” he says.