So why no talk about the immigation proposal? The crux of the issue are the four pillars that are noted at the end. I’m encouraged by the bi-partisan action and I support moving forward on the four pillars of the plan. A path to citizenship is a tough pill to swallow for those here illegally. I would have preferred some other options; such as legal status but no direct path to citizenship, as a direct path rewards illegal behavior. But I’m a pragmatist and we need to deal with this and remove immigration as a wedge issue in our country.
Full link for those interested, I deleted half of the story in my post.
Possible compromise on immigration reform takes shape
Washington (CNN) -- Millions of undocumented immigrants would get immediate but provisional status to live and work in America under a compromise plan proposed Monday by a bipartisan group of eight senators.
While temporarily removing legal uncertainty for the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants, the senators' outline also called for strengthening border controls, improved monitoring of visitors and cracking down on hiring undocumented workers. Only after those steps occurred could the undocumented immigrants already in the country begin the process of getting permanent residence -- green cards -- as a step toward citizenship, the senators told a news conference.
"They would no longer be deported, provided they don't have a criminal record. They would no longer be harassed, they would be allowed to stay here and work," said Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York in describing the immediate impact of the framework if crafted into legislation and enacted.
The outline for a possible immigration bill reflects a new willingness by mainstream Republicans to compromise following their party's defeat in November, when President Barack Obama got strong backing from Latino voters.
A similar effort on immigration is said to be under way in the House, involving a group of Republicans and Democrats.
Two senior House Democratic sources briefed on the effort told CNN the group was working to release some sort of outline of its plan soon, possibly as early as this week, but concede "they are not as far along as the Senate." Like the Senate framework, the House plan will include a path to citizenship, but details of how that will work are still being discussed.
Meanwhile, a litany of left-leaning advocacy groups spoke out on the senators' plan, praising it as a good first step but cautioning against harming the rights of workers.
"The people of this country are ready for us to be one country again without second-class people being mistreated simply because they lack paper even though they are already contributing to our economy and our tax system," noted NAACP President Ben Jealous.
Democratic senators backing the plan include Schumer, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Robert Menendez of New Jersey, and Michael Bennet of Colorado. On the Republican side, McCain and Rubio were joined by Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona.
The eight senators based their framework on four "pillars," described as:
-- A "tough but fair" path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already living in the United States, but only after bolstering the nation's border security;
-- Overhauling the country's legal immigration system, including attaching green cards to advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, or math from U.S. universities;
-- Establishing an employment verification system that holds employers accountable for hiring undocumented workers;
-- Creating a guest-worker program for positions that Americans are either unable or unwilling to fill.
A source familiar with how the eight senators came up with the plan told CNN that Graham called Schumer after the November vote to restart work on an immigration bill that broke down in 2010.