A group of eight key senators has crafted a sweeping immigration overhaul deal that offers a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. Under an outline of the bipartisan plan seen by Politico, the deal tackles immigration reform in a comprehensive measure that opens the pathway to citizenship only after implementing stricter border control measures (ie, more agents and drones) and moves to ensure visitors leave the country when their visas are up. The process for illegal immigrants would be two-step:
- First, obtain probationary legal status by registering, submitting to a background check, paying a fine, and settling back taxes.
- Then achieve permanent residency after completing requirements like learning English and undergoing a deeper background check.
The group of senators includes Democrats Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin and Republicans John McCain and Marco Rubio. "Look at the last election," McCain said yesterday. "We are losing dramatically the Hispanic vote, which we think should be ours." The senators' plan will be unveiled today, a day before President Obama sets out his own proposal for immigration reform. His plan is expected to offer a faster path to citizenship that, unlike the senators' plan, is not dependent on the Mexican border being declared secure, the New York Times reports.