Democratic and Republican senators unveiled this Tuesday a long-waited landmark legislation, giving millions of illegal immigrats an opportunity to eventually become U.S. citizens
Under this proposal, undocumented immigrants who came to the United States before December 31 2011, and had stayed in the country continously could apply for a “provisional” legal status as soon as six months after de bill is signed by the president.
Beyond that, they would have to wait a decade or more for full citizenship which would entitle them to federal benefits, while the government works on further securing U.S. borders and enforcing the new immigration law.
Even with the many caveats, the proposal faces months of debate, scores of amendments and potentially significant opposition, particularly in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
The bill sets a goal of stopping 90 percent of illegal crossigs at the riskiest sections of the southern border with Mexico, either by catching people or forcing them to go back to their country.
More Visas For Some Jobs
The proposal would expand access to both low- and high-skilled labor for American Businesses, attempting to keep organized labor happy with provisions designed to keep companies from hiring cheap foreign labor or filing jobs with immigrants when U.S. workers are available.
10 Years for the Green Card
After 10 years the immigrants could apply for a “green card”, or permanent resident status, through an extended merit-based immigration system. Those applications could be processed whether or not the government achieved a 90 percent success rate in securing border hot spots.
The green card would not be automatic, although a Senate aide said the majority of the 11 million illegal immigrants would likely get it via the merit-based visa. The total amount of penalties paid would amount to $2000.
After the 10-year wait for the green card, it could take an additional three years to win U.S. Citizenship