After intense rounds of negotiations, eight bipartisan senators, including Marco Rubio, introduced an immigration bill that aims to fix the broken immigration system and find a lawful solution for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. The proposed bill also plans on changing the wave of future immigration with the goal of welcoming immigrants based on their skill sets and assets.
According to Reuters, the bill provides the opportunity for millions of undocumented immigrants to apply for permanent and legal residency within 10 years, which will qualify them to eventually apply for U.S. citizenship. Those who stepped foot in the U.S. before December 2011, stay continuously, hold a steady job, and pay $500 fine, will be allowed to apply for what is called "provisional" legal status as soon as six months after the bill is signed by President Obama.
Undocumented immigrants, who came to the U.S. as children, would also be eligible to apply for citizenship after living in the U.S. for 5 years. Four years after being registered, immigrants will be allowed to apply for permanent residency if one holds a steady job, has a clean criminal record, pays taxes, and another $1,000 fine. Three years after this process, one is then eligible to become a U.S. citizen.
The most controversial part of the bill may be the suggested 13-year pathway to citizenship. This part of the proposal was set in place for Republicans, who feared that an easier process would encourage a new wave of undocumented immigrants to enter the U.S. Those who don’t fall under the “provisional” legal status will have to wait while the government meets demands to toughen the U.S. borders and continue to enforce the current immigration laws. This process may take longer than a decade to set into place.
What are your thoughts on the proposed immigration bill?