The on-again, off-again drive to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws moved back to Congress on Tuesday with the introduction of legislation that would open a path to legal status for millions of illegal immigrants.
The bill, introduced by Representative Luis V. Gutierrez, Democrat of Illinois, was seen as the opening volley in what Democrats and Republicans expect to be a hard-fought battle. President Obama has pledged to take up the issue early next year; efforts to overhaul the laws during George W. Bush’s presidency failed despite the backing of Mr. Bush and some Republicans.
Mr. Gutierrez, one of Mr. Obama’s earliest Latino supporters in Congress, said in an interview that the bill reflected a growing impatience with the pace of immigration change among a coalition of Democratic lawmakers, immigrant advocates and labor and religious groups.
Representative Brian Bilbray, a California Republican who heads the House Immigration Reform Caucus, said the bill would only generate a new wave of migrants to compete with Americans for jobs at a time of 10 percent unemployment.
Prepare for the Great Depression.