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Monday, January 28, 2013

Online Reaction to Immigration Overhaul Plan

Video: A bipartisan group of senators has agreed on a set of principles for a sweeping overhaul of the immigration system.

As my colleague, Julia Preston reports, a bipartisan group of senators announced on Monday that they have agreed to work towards overhauling the immigration system with the aim of providing a pathway to American citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants.

Under the set of principles, unveiled one day before President Obama is scheduled to outline his immigration proposals, the agreement hinges on stronger border and interior enforcement, including requiring foeigners to leave the country once their visas expire.

The online reaction to the first significant bipartisan Congressional effort on immigration in recent years was a mix of cautious optimism, elation and concern among some conservatives that Republicans were not demanding tougher enforcement.

In some posts on Twitter, mostly conservatives referred to the eight Senators who hammered out the agreement as the “Gang of 8.”

Both Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat from New Jersey and Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, spoke about the plan on television news shows on Sunday. They were joined on Monday afternoon by the six other Senators ,who joined them hammering out an agreement. They included Democrats Charles Schumer, Dick Durbin and Republicans Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio.

In a post on Twitter, Jose Antonio Vargas, a fomer Washigton Post reporter who has become one of the most vocal leaders among young immigrant activists who call themselves #Dreamers, after the Dream Act, asked:

Others worried that the bipartisan agreement would not succeed.

For many in the bu! rgeoning ! online and offline movement of young activists who call themselves the Dreamers, a path to citizenship is key.

On the other side of the debate, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which has long argued for tougher borders and enforcement, predicted a “iscal nightmare” if the bipartisan approach were to be adopted.

At the news conference, several of the senators spoke in Spanish. And the Twitter account for Mayor Bloomberg posted a tweet in Spanish, in support of the l! aw.