In anticipation of the President’s speech on immigration tomorrow in Las Vegas, a group of eight Senators released their proposal for amnesty legislation today. This so-called Gang of Eight includes Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), John McCain (R-AZ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Bennet (D-CO), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ). The proposal, remarkably similar to the failed amnesty bill of 2007 (S.1639), is only in outline form at this time; no legislative language was released with it.
The first component of the bill is a large-scale amnesty for the entire illegal alien population in the United States, roughly 11-12 million. The Senators’ outline states, “our legislation will provide a tough, fair, and practical roadmap to address the status of unauthorized immigrants in the United States….” The outline calls for illegal aliens to “register with the government,” undergo a background check, pay a fine and back taxes in order to “earn probationary legal status.” This status will allow these newly amnestied aliens to live and work in the United States. According to the plan, those with a “serious criminal background” or others who threaten national security will be ineligible and subject to deportation.