Monday, January 28, 2013

It's Here: Bipartisan Immigration Legislation Framework Emerges in Senate

Posted By on Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 10:45 AM

We mentioned in The Skinny a few days ago that an immigration-reform package remained at the top the legislative agenda in Washington.

Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake are part of a bipartisan group of senators who are unveiling an immigration package today.

Flake spokeswoman Genevieve Rozansky tells The Range via email: "Sen. Flake believes that now is the time to move forward with immigration reform that includes increased border security, a workable program to address future labor needs, and a plan to deal with those already in the country illegally without granting them amnesty."

Slate has a roundup of details here. Matthew Yglesias' summary:


The framework features extra money for border enforcement and the establishment of a border commission composed of governors, attorneys general, and the like from border-area states. It will provide for automatic green cards to "immigrants who have received a PhD or Master's degree in science, technology, engineering, or math from an American university." It will also create what I take to be an enlarged agricultural guest-worker program, only with some mechanism for veteran guest workers to earn green cards. It will provide a mechanism for unauthorized migrants to turn themselves in, pay a fine and back taxes, and receive provisional legal status.

Yglesias notes that details are yet to come:

This is a "framework" and not legislation, so there are lots of loose elements and further questions one might ask. But all in all it seems like a humane and sensible approach that will, among other things, do more to improve the fiscal position of the United States than all the discretionary spending caps in the world.

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