Newsletter subscribe

Arizona, Elections, Features, Politics, Top Stories

Read the Draft Immigration Bill? Yes We Can!

Posted: April 23, 2013 at 7:45 am   /   by

When I heard the draft immigration bill was 844 pages long, I cringed and sighed.  There was no way I could ever get into reading a bill that huge.

Or so I thought.

I downloaded the bill in pdf format from this site.  You could do the same.  If the link doesn’t work, just load “Gang of 8 immigration bill pdf” into Google.) To my (pleasant) surprise, the bill was not unreadable.

Try printing a page from the bill. On a sheet of paper 8-1/2 inches wide, the text would only occupy 3-1/2 inches!  And it’s double spaced.  The average line is only 6 or 7 words long, and thre are only 25 lines per page.  On a piece of paper 11 inches high, the text would only occupy about 8 inches.   In fact, most of every page is devoted to generous margins and line numbers, presumably to allow for marginal notes to be penciled in.

So don’t despair over the “800 pages” you hear about everywhere … if you want to try reading it, go ahead.  It’s not trivial, but it’s not impossible, and it’s not nearly as arcane as the healthcare bill.

I recommend you look carefully at the Table of Contents and choose topics of interest rather than trying to slog through the whole thing cover to cover.  And don’t forget to use the “Find” function in pdf.  If you hit CTRL-F, a little box will come up and allow you so search for specific words.  For example, if you’re interested in whether the bill has any “teeth” to it at all, you might search on “penalty”, “imprisonment”, “willful”, “false”, etc.

Marco Rubio’s name is on this draft bill, and he’s encouraged all citizens to give it a critical review.  He says there will be ample opportunity to make changes & additions.  Because I respect Marco Rubio and believe he is acting in good faith, and because the issue is certainly important enough, I’m going to get into it and report back on WesternFreePress on what I find.

Perhaps you could do the same?  Your comments & observations can be attached to this article or any other on  Or you could write your own guest blog post and submit it to info at westernfreepress dot com. And don’t forget to send your best comments and questions to your Senators and your Congressman.

On April 22, former Senator Jim DeMint said quite clearly (on Neil Cavuto’s “Your World”) that Congress is trying to push the bill through before the American people can realize what’s in it.  Let’s see if at least a few Americans can read it, understand what’s in it, and send comments and questions to our representatives.  That’s the way it’s supposed to work.

Finally, if you insist on reading a shorter version, here is a link to an official summary of the bill.  But there’s nothing like reading the “real thing” !

David Leeper

David Leeper began writing for in January, 2011. His 40-year career in engineering includes senior- and officer-level management positions at ATT Bell Labs, Bellcore, Motorola, and Intel. Now retired, he lives in Scottsdale, AZ with his wife of 44 years. Both are active in volunteer work and politics. David is a volunteer science teacher at and a reader for the blind on a National Public Radio affiliate. He has written numerous articles for technical journals including Scientific American. He holds 16 patents in telecom technology and a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.