Political Analyst: National Immigration Reform Likely Coming This Year

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - "I think the political tea leaves suggest there will be an immigration bill to pass Congress," says WHNT News 19 Political Analyst Jess Brown.

Those tea leaves may point toward an immigration bill, but they sure aren't very specific about what could be in it.

For that brand of divination, you need an expert like Brown, who predicts, "It will have to have some enhanced enforcement at the Mexican border, with greater oversight and measurement of whether that border security is in fact effective."

But Congress won't just be looking for ways to beef up enforcement.

Brown says Congress will likely include a path to citizenship, "It's going to be especially effective for illegal immigrants who were brought here as children who have now lived a certain period of time in the United States and have otherwise served the nation-state's interest, such as serving in the armed forces."

Brown believes Congress will ease up on immigrants in certain sectors as well, "I think the other thing you're going to see if you dig deep enough in the legislation, I think there's going to be a greater tolerance and acceptance of illegal immigrants who are here and are working in certain niches of our economy, like agricultural workers and mining workers."

So if you trust the tea leaves, major immigration policy could soon change.