Immigration Reform Proposals to be Submitted This Week

A blueprint for immigration reform, including a path to citizenship some undocumented residents, is expected to be released this week by a 6 member Senate working group, that includes Senators Dick Durbin, John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Mark Rubio, Charles Schumer and Robert Menendez.

The Republicans in the group are going to stress tougher border security and more employer penalties. The Democrats (hopefully) will stress family reunification.

Mr. Durbin added that the effort will be focused on unifying families, and will include a version of the Dream Act, which would give undocumented students a path to permanent residency status.


This month, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced a new rule published in the Federal Register, allowing for "provisional unlawful presence waivers":

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today announced the posting of a final rule in the Federal Register that reduces the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives (spouse, children and parents), who are in the process of obtaining visas to become lawful permanent residents of the United States under certain circumstances.

The final rule establishes a process that allows certain individuals to apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver before they depart the United States to attend immigrant visa interviews in their countries of origin. The process will be effective on March 4, 2013 ....“This final rule facilitates the legal immigration process and reduces the amount of time that U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives who are in the process of obtaining an immigrant visa,” said Secretary Napolitano.

President Obama will address the issue in Las Vegas on Tuesday:

Obama is to press his case for immigration changes during a trip to Las Vegas Tuesday: a pathway to citizenship for illegal undocumented immigrants that includes paying fines and back taxes; increased border security; mandatory penalties for businesses that employ unauthorized immigrants; and improvements to the legal immigration system, including giving green cards to high-skilled workers and lifting caps on legal immigration for the immediate family members of U.S. citizens.

For more on the family issues, see UniteFamilies.org

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    Half and tentative (none / 0) (#1)
    by koshembos on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:13:35 PM EST
    May be the nature of every reform is slow and halting. Yet, with the GOP deep in the hole on the Hispanic vote one expects the administration and Democratic senators to be much more forthcoming.

    This way, legalizing the vast majority of undocumented will take forever.

    Supposedly Boehner (none / 0) (#2)
    by desmoinesdem on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:48:23 PM EST
    is ready to cut a deal:

    The Speaker made the previously unreported comments during a question-and-answer session on Tuesday at the Ripon Society, a Republican advocacy group.

    In response to a question from the audience, Boehner said it is "time to deal" with immigration, a top domestic priority for Obama.

    "I said it the day after the election. I meant it, and we're going to have to deal with it," Boehner said. "I think there's a bipartisan group of members that have been meeting now for three or four years. Frankly, I think they basically have an agreement. I've not seen the agreement. I don't know all the pitfalls in it, but it's in my view, the right group of members."
    The Speaker did not name the participants, but he said they included "some of the hard heads on our side, and some of the people involved on immigration reform on their side."

    He'll have a massive backbench rebellion over this.

    I have long commented (none / 0) (#4)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 02:07:22 PM EST
    that what we need is for the borders to be closed and then green cards issued for all the illegal immigrants that are here.

    It will be interesting to see if this does that or if it is "bait and switch" in which the borders are not closed first.

    Based on what I have read this morning, (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 02:43:42 PM EST
    I think this bipartisan plan is a "bait and switch" in which the borders are never declared secure so that no path to citizenship is enacted.

    The plan that I have seen requires that a commission, composed of whom and appointed by whom not disclosed, must first certify that the border is secure, whatever that means, before any effort is made to implement a path to citizenship.

    This plan does not, at this point, appear to be a sincere effort to turn the undocumented into citizens and end the obsession with ICE enforcement and raids. It appears to be window dressing for continuing our overtly punitive and IMO destructive policies.

    I so hope I am wrong. I fear I am not.