Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) is at last on Washington's agenda. A bipartisan group of eight senators (the "Gang of Eight") has proposed several CIR principles but no legislative text. At the core are (1) enhanced border security; (2) mandatory, nationwide use of the E-Verify database to confirm the work eligibility of new hires; (3) greater penalties for employers who knowingly hire unauthorized workers; (4) a path to a green card and eventual citizenship for unauthorized immigrants, after everyone legally in line first get green cards; (5) expedited green cards for students with degrees in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math); and (5) new ways for foreign workers to enter the U.S. in the future. President Obama has proposed a similar set of "markers" and promises to send a bill to Congress if the legislators don't act soon. He would not require unauthorized immigrants to wait until border security is achieved before receiving green cards, would offer a Start-Up Visa category, and make the EB-5 Regional Center program permanent. Another group of legislators have proposed the Immigration Innovation Act of 2013 (I-Squared), S. 169, which would expand the H-1B visa quota, and promote other reforms to employment-based immigration.
For the "Gang of Eight" proposal, click here.
For the Obama Administration proposal, click here.
For the Immigration Innovation Act of 2013 (I-Squared), S. 169, click here.