Bipartisan U.S. Senate group proposes immigration plan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators has agreed on a framework for immigration reform that would provide a "path to citizenship" for those in the United States illegally but only after measures are put in place to secure borders and track undocumented immigrants.
The document, made available to news organizations early on Monday and first reported by Politico, comes a day before President Barack Obama is to outline his proposals for immigration reform.
An outline of the proposal, which has not been put in legislative form, said it would allow those in the United States illegally to register with the government, pay a fine, and then be given probationary legal status allowing them to work.
Ultimately, they would have to "go to the end of the line" and apply for permanent status, according to the document drafted by eight Senators including Republican Marco Rubio of Florida and Democrat Charles Schumer of New York.
No one would be given more permanent legal status until new measures were implemented to stem the flow of immigrants across U.S. borders.
The path to citizenship would be "contingent" on setting up a new system for securing U.S. borders and new enforcement measures to track the status of immigrants who may have overstayed visas, the framework document said.
The proposal resembles previous immigration bills-including a 2007 measure that died in Congress in part because of disagreement over the timing of border enforcement measures versus so-called "path to citizenship" provisions for some of the 11 million undocumented migrants.
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