A bipartisan Senate plan to overhaul the nation's broken immigration system was met with a mix of enthusiasm and criticism from stakeholders and skeptics as the so-called “Gang of Eight” put finishing touches on the legislation, reports the Arizona Republic. “There's something in this bill for everybody to hate,” said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ). “Believe me, in a bill this big, you're going to find that. Hopefully, there's enough for people to support to get it through.”
Negotiated for months behind closed doors, the sweeping Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 is a complex set of trade-offs that aim to satisfy enforcement hawks, businesses, organized labor, and immigrant advocates. The measure would dramatically enhance border security, which already has been significantly expanded in the past decade. It links progress on securing the border to a pathway to citizenship for most of the estimated 11 million immigrants already in the country illegally. The bill also would strengthen workplace-enforcement efforts by mandating — as Arizona has since 2008 — that all employers use the E-Verify system to check who is authorized to work in the U.S. and who isn't. Historic new visa programs for future high-tech, agricultural, and low-skilled foreign workers also would be created.