Key Senators Reach Bipartisan Immigration Reform Deal

Ever wondered what a bipartisan solution to immigration looks like? A group of leading senators has laid out a deal which includes sweeping reforms to the issue, borrowing the best ideas from both sides of the debate.

The deal will be unveiled Monday afternoon, but it includes border security, guest workers and employer verification, as well as a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in this country. Details still need to be hammered out, and the deal’s success is far from guaranteed, but the plan amounts to the most significant attempt to reform the nation’s immigration system in decades.

According to The Associated Press, the bipartisan immigration proposal seeks to reach four goals:

  • Create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in-country, reliant on securing the border and keeping better track of people here on visas.
  • Reform of the legal immigration system, which includes giving green cards to immigrants who hold advanced degrees in science, math, technology or engineering from an American university.
  • Create an effective employment verification system, which would ensure that employers don’t hire illegal immigrants.
  • Allow more low-skill workers into the country, and also allow employers to hire immigrants if they can prove that they couldn’t hire a US citizen. This step also includes the establishment of an agricultural worker program.

The eight senators behind the bill are: Democrats Charles Schumer of New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado; and Republicans John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida and Jeff Flake of Arizona.

“What’s changed, honestly, is that there is a new, I think, appreciation on both sides of the aisle — including maybe more importantly on the Republican side of the aisle — that we have to enact a comprehensive immigration reform bill,” McCain told ABC.

“I think the time is right.”

What do you think of the proposed immigration reforms? Too radical, not radical enough, or just right?