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Gang of Eight Agrees to Path to Citizenship for Illegals

Prospects for passage look reasonable in the Senate, much more problematic in the House.

Rick Moran


March 11, 2013 - 12:18 pm

The group of 8 bi-partisan Senators who have been trying to hammer out a comprehensive immigration reform bill have reportedly agreed to a path to citizenship for illegal aliens.

Los Angeles Times:

According to aides familiar with the closed-door negotiations, the bill would require illegal immigrants to register with Homeland Security Department authorities, file federal income taxes for their time in America and pay a still-to-be-determined fine. They also must have a clean law enforcement record.

Once granted probationary legal status, immigrants would be allowed to work but would be barred from receiving federal public benefits, including food stamps, family cash assistance, Medicaid and unemployment insurance.

RELATED: Is the border secure?

The group’s current draft is largely in line with President Obama’s call to set a pathway to earned citizenship as part of a broader immigration reform package, as well as with recent efforts by prominent Republican lawmakers to resolve an issue that hurt GOP candidates in November’s election.

Though the draft is a long way from becoming law, immigration advocates expressed guarded optimism about a possible breakthrough.

“Nine months ago, people would have thought you were nuts to say that four Republicans and four Democrats were working on a way to legalize 11 million people,” said Angela Kelley, an immigration expert at the Center for American Progress, a think tank with close ties to the White House. “It’s a Rubik’s Cube, but more sides are matching in color than ever before. That’s significant.”

Still undecided is how long illegal immigrants would need to wait before they could apply for permanent resident status and eventually become citizens. The delay for a green card probably would be 10 years or longer, the aides said.

Also unresolved are such politically charged topics as how many visas to issue to high-tech specialists and other guest workers; how to keep track of when visitors leave the country; and how to pay for more Border Patrol officers, fencing and other security measures in an era of shrinking budgets, the aides said.

If all Democrats and all 4 Republican Senators on the bi-partisan committee support the bill, Harry Reid would only need to corral one more GOP member to win a cloture vote. It seems fairly certain, then, that immigration reform has a good chance to pass the Senate.

It seems equally certain that the bill has little chance in the GOP House — not with a path to citizenship included. House members might trade an expanded guest worker program and some sort of accommodation for the children of illegal immigrants for increased border security, but even that would face a stern test.

House Whip Kevin McCarthy says that the GOP leadership is prepared to pass immigration reform without most of the caucus going along. That may be, but the whip should probably do some nose counting; the path to citizenship is almost universally opposed by GOP House members and even if all the Democrats agreed, McCarthy will find it difficult to scrounge up the extra 16 Republican members he would need for passage.

President Obama seems to be in no mood to help the Republicans deal with their unpopularity with Hispanics, and appears content to continue to play politics with the issue of immigration. Something will probably get done on immigration reform, but what that might be is still up in the air.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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All Comments   (7)
All Comments   (7)
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There is already a "path to citizenship". The illegals have skipped it.

In another comment on a different subject, I said that I will never vote for a Democrat, and that I was reconsidering voting for Republicans. Well, I'm done reconsidering.

I will never vote for a Republican, ever again.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Here's my idea for a "path to citizenship": You're already citizens of other countries. Go live there.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Once granted probationary legal status... would be barred from receiving federal public benefits, including food stamps, family cash assistance, Medicaid and unemployment insurance."
They already get all of this free stuff through their anchor babies. The benefits have to go to the adult in charge, that equals the illegal. The only thing the illegal doesn't get is Medicaid but there are other funding sources for their free medical care.
Anyway, we know that they'll get whatever they need once they've been legalized and they won't have to pay one cent in fines because that would be racist and inhumane.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
i didn't know who this gang of eight was, so i looked it up:

dems: durbin repubs: rubio
menendez mccain
schumer flake
bennet graham

not making me feel real happy about how it will turn out.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
well, that didn't post the way i laid it out. dems on the left repubs on the right in four columns
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So 4 Republicans want to help millions of illegal immigrants become US citizens.

After which, of course, those millions of new voters will vote democrat.

Any promises to more strictly enforce border security will go about as far as past promises to more strictly enforce border security - namely, it won't happen.

But hey, they'll certainly get the illegals legalized!

So, precisely WHAT is in this bill that those 4 Republicans are gaining as a plus for our side?

I see nothing but more rolling over.....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Call them "Gang of Pandering Extra-Legal Traitors." That's what they are.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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