Immigration is something often discussed by politicians, but it’s not so often agreed upon by the Democratic and Republican parties. Now a group of four Democrats and four Republicans have written up a framework for immigration reform for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S.
The eight politicians are asking for stronger border security and holding employers accountable for hiring undocumented immigrants. They also want to make it simpler for people to move to America legally in order to get work or join their families.
According to the plan set forth, undocumented immigrants need to register with the federal government. If they pass a background check and pay off back taxes and any fines, then they would qualify for something called "probationary legal status." This would make it legal for them to live and hold a job in the U.S., but they would be unable to get federal benefits like Medicaid. Kids who moved to America with their parents, though, would not have to go through the same steps toward citizenship.
While some proposals are spelled out in detail, other things are still being left open for negotiation, like how long it would take for someone to become a citizen. Congress hopes this might become a piece of legislation in the spring.
President Obama will also be stepping forward tomorrow with a plan on immigration. A spokesperson said that the president is “pleased that progress is being made with bipartisan support. At the same time, he will not be satisfied until there is meaningful reform and he will continue to urge Congress to act until that is achieved."
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