It would require the Homeland Security Department to create and launch plans for border security and fencing before illegal immigrants can enter a provisional status. This could happen as early as six months after enactment of the bill.
It might also be helpful if HSD came up with some way to measure the effectiveness of their security measures ... which is a "void" right now.
They would remain in that provisional status for 10 years, able to work legally but barred from federal benefits like welfare or health care.
Many are already receiving same as a result of anchor babies, it would appear.
After 10 years they could seek green cards conferring permanent legal status, provided the security and fencing plans have been "substantially" carried out. And they will measure effectiveness by ??
After another three years, those immigrants could petition for citizenship.
It would appear that many of them do not have an interest in becoming citizens ... or even learn English.
In total, the bill creates a minimum 13-year path to citizenship for up to 11 million illegal immigrants, costing them each $2,000 in fines plus additional fees. They really expect 11 million people to sign up to pay $2000 and taxes & additional fees ... when they are getting the benefit of a job now with none of those "expenses"?
If they say that deporting this many people is too big a job, won't "signing them up" be just as big a job as sending them home? I can't see how finding the people & putting them on buses can be less time/labor intensive than running the same numbers through paperwork centers (requiring a lot more time & expense than the gas and a bus driver).
The plan might make some sense if they could be sure of border security to effectively monitor further illegal influx. However, we saw the last time that the border security was promised, but never materialized to an extent significant enough to prevent the problem we are again faced with.
Applicants would have to meet other criteria as well in order to qualify.
It might all make some kind of sense if they first concentrated on those illegals who had over-stayed visas first. That group had legitimate reasons for being here ... family, job, student. It seems a large percentage of that group might actually be law-abiding, working people who could deserve some special arrangements. They had some record of "following rules" when they got visas to enter the country to begin with.
It has been reported that there has been a significant increase in illegal border crossings from Mexico, with these new immigrants anticipating being able to participate in the amnesty. While the job situation has not improved enough to attract them here, anticipation of the economy recovering would make the amnesty useful to them in the long run.
Meanwhile, a young male illegal immigrant is on trial for murder, and his defense presented is that his cultural background makes him not responsible for his act of murder (dragging another man to death). Cut me a break! Such a defense would also mean that a Mexican drug dealer who beheads people could be "justified" based on his cultural background; or an adherent to Sharia law should not be held responsible for killing his daughter (another court case in recent history).
The bill outline establishes numeric goals for border apprehensions, but it's unclear how closely meeting -- or missing -- those goals is tied to the pathway to legal status. Small loop hole.
Conservatives say border security improvements should be verified before illegal immigrants can seek citizenship. Illegal immigrant advocates say their pathway should not be held up by that process.
Regardless, the plan dedicates billions to security efforts, including $3 billion to providing more border agents, customs agents and surveillance systems along the border; and $1.5 billion to building up border fencing.
The security and legalization efforts, though, are only part of the sweeping plan.
The legislation also would remake the nation's inefficient legal immigration system, creating new immigration opportunities for tens of thousands of high- and low-skilled workers, as well as a new "merit visa" aimed at bringing people with talents to the U.S.
Employers would face tough new requirements to check the legal status of all workers. Why not start with this?
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on the bill beginning Friday and likely move to amend and vote on it in May, with action on the Senate floor expected later in the summer. The Republican-controlled House also must act, and opposition from some conservatives there is likely to be fierce.
"The Senate proposal issues an open invitation to enter the country illegally," Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said on the House floor Monday. "Millions more will do so before the border is secure. The Senate proposal will dramatically increase illegal immigration."
People brought here illegally as youths would have a faster path: They could get green cards in five years and would become eligible for citizenship immediately thereafter.