Brooks: Senate Immigration Plan Represents Good First Step

Congresswoman praises bipartisan effort, emphasis on secure borders

Jan. 29, 2013

U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-5th) reads to pupils at Eliza A. Baker Elementary School in Indianapolis.
( photo: Eric Berman)

Fifth District Congresswoman Susan Brooks says the immigration reform plan unveiled this week by a bipartisan group of senators represents an encouraging first step toward solving one of the nation's thorniest problems.

Brooks praises the so-called Gang of Eight for requiring that the nation's borders be secured first, and for placing illegal immigrants at the back of the line for citizenship, behind those who have entered the country legally. But she says there needs to be a path to legalizing the status of the estimated 11-million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., and says the Senate plan appears to offer one.

Senators have proposed allowing illegal aliens to straighten out their inmmigration status if they pay any back taxes for the time they've been in the U.S., plus a fine. The plan so far is just a set of guiding principles, not a full bill.

Brooks rejects charges from critics that the plan amounts to amnesty. She says the path laid out for undocumented aliens to become legal is long and difficult.