The new immigration reform bill is officially called The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. A 17-page outline was unveiled last night, but an official announcement has not been made.
Due to the Boston Marathon bombing yesterday, the Gang of 8 have delayed their Comprehensive Immigration Reform Press Conference, which was to take place this morning. A Senate aide said this about their decision to postpone: “All eight senators believed the focus should be on the victims, not other issues.”
Immigration Reform: Pathway to Citizenship
Here are some of the major points from the outline about a pathway to citizenship:
- A pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants has been included in comprehensive reform plan.
- The path would take 13 years.
- An undocumented immigrant would have to prove he or she had continuous presence in the U.S. before December 31, 2011.
- There would be a thorough background check to confirm applicant has a clean record.
- Taxes would need to be paid along with a $500 fine and additional fees.
- After eligibility has been determined, undocumented immigrants would adjust their status to Registered Provision Immigrant, RPI.
- RPI status allows people to live and work legally in the U.S. and travel outside of the U.S.
- After 6 years of RPI status, there would be another $500 fine.
- After 10 years of RPI status, the immigrant would be able to apply for a Green Card as long as he or she learns English and his or her taxes and additional $1,000 fine have been paid.
- After 3 years of holding the Green Card, the immigrant would be able to apply for citizenship.
The above guidelines would depend on the border security goals of the Department of Homeland Security. Also, some of the above guidelines would not apply to DREAMers and agricultural workers. DREAMers would be able to apply for Green Cards after 5 years of RPI, not the 10 years required from others. Agricultural workers would be eligible under the AgJobs Act, which gets them legal status.
The bill is still expected to be filed today. The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing for this Friday and upcoming Monday.
More on Immigration Reform:
- Immigration Reform 2013
- Gang of 8
- Earned Citizenship
- Streamlining Immigration
- Strengthening Border Security
- More Accountability for Employers Hiring Undocumented Immigrants