House Close to Immigration Reform Compromise

The bipartisan group of House members known as the “gang of seven” is close to their own immigration reform legislation, according to The Washington Post. The plan includes a path to citizenship but sets conditions on the initial legal status that those undocumented immigrants would receive. New regulations on citizenship would also be imposed with the House’s bill.

The bill includes tougher conditions that would please House Republicans and possibly be acceptable to some Democrats as well. The source said details of the bill include a probation period for undocumented immigrants and a requirement for them to admit to breaking U.S. laws. The plan by members of the House may include E-Verify to remain operational after five years. E-Verify is used by businesses to determine the eligibility of citizenship for immigrants in the U.S. If the program isn’t operational after the five-year period then those immigrants on probation would lose return to illegal status.

A pathway to citizenship proposed by the gang of seven would set a 15-year period from the probationary phase to becoming a citizen, the source reported. Some immigration advocates may be able to accept this compromise for reform.

“This House bill is to the right of the Senate bill – the hard trigger on E-Verify will give progressives conniptions and may well even split them,” Frank Sharry, the head of the pro-immigration America’s Voice, told The Washington Post. “But if Republicans can garner significant support for the legalization and citizenship in exchange, it will be hard for Democrats and reformers to say no, because the trigger is achievable. It might be the makings of a deal.”

Although there’s promise that immigration reform could still emerge from the House, they’ve delayed bringing the bill to the floor before Congress dismisses for August recess. According to Politico, the reason for the delay is so the chamber has enough time to educate other representatives and the public on the individual components of the bill.