A draft of a White House proposal for immigration reform was leaked on February 16, according to USA Today. An official in the Obama administration released the draft to several agencies, but requested anonymity with USA Today because it was not intended for the public. The proposal allows for undocumented immigrants to obtain legal permanent status within eight years of applying for paperwork under the Lawful Prospective Immigrant visa bill.
The plan is intended to provide more funding for security at the border and require business owners to check the immigration status of new hires every four years. Additionally, individuals who are approved for the Lawful Prospective Immigrant visa could then apply for provisional legal status for their spouse and children, according to USA Today’s report.
President Barack Obama has backed the bipartisan effort and officials within the administration have released statements saying this was crafted as a backup plan. During his speech on immigration reform in Las Vegas, Obama stated that he would send a bill based on his proposal if Congress did not move quickly enough.
“The president has made clear the principles upon which he believes any common sense immigration reform effort should be based,” Clark Stevens, White House spokesman, told USA Today. “We continue to work in support of a bipartisan effort, and while the president has made it clear he will move forward if Congress fails to act, progress continues to be made and the administration has not prepared a final bill to submit.”
The draft mirrors a similar, failed effort led by the late Senator Ted Kennedy and Senator John McCain in 2007. Key principles include strengthening the border, streamlining legal immigration and earning citizenship. Individuals would also be given new identification cards to prove their legal status in the country.