NPR : News

Filed Under:

White House Outlines Plan To Give Illegal Immigrants Path To Citizenship

The first details of an initial proposal by the White House to tackle the nation's immigration system include an eight-year path to legal residency for illegal immigrants.

A draft of the plan, which USA Today says was leaked to the newspaper by a White House official, proposes the creation of a "Lawful Prospective Immigrant" visa for those living here illegally.

According to USA Today, those who qualify for the new visa could eventually apply for U.S. citizenship:

"The immigrants could then apply for legal permanent residence, commonly known as a green card, within eight years if they learn English and 'the history and government of the United States' and pay back taxes. That would then clear the path for them to apply for U.S. citizenship."

They would also need to pass a criminal background check and would be disqualified if they were imprisoned for at least one year, or a total of 90 days for three or more crimes.

The draft, released late Saturday, elicited a quick response from Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who called it "half-baked and seriously flawed."

In a statement, Rubio, a key GOP member of the bipartisan gang of eight senators working on immigration, said the plan, if offered up to Congress, would be "dead on arrival."

"It's a mistake for the White House to draft immigration legislation without seeking input from Republican members of Congress," Rubio said. "President Obama's leaked immigration proposal is disappointing to those of us working on a serious solution. The President's bill repeats the failures of past legislation."

Yet White House officials say they are simply planning ahead in case Congress can't get its own bill together.

"We are doing exactly what we said we would do," White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said on NBC's Meet The Press.

"We'll be prepared in the event that the bipartisan talks going on the Hill, which by the way, we're very aggressively supporting, if those do not work out then we'll have an option that we'll be ready to put out there," McDonough said when questioned about the leaked proposal.

Meanwhile, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., says he is optimistic that he and his Republican congressional colleagues will be able to have a bill ready by next month.

"The president and those of us working on immigration are working very well. Sens. [Dick] Durbin, [Robert] Menendez, [Michael] Bennet and I met with the president Wednesday, and he agreed to give us the space we need to come up with a bipartisan proposal," Schumer said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union. "We're working well together."

Schumer is also a member of the group of eight senators; other members of the group include Republicans John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Florida's Rubio. The group began working on an immigration bill earlier this year.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Credibility Concerns Overshadow Release Of Gay Talese's New Book

NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks with Paul Farhi of the Washington Post about Gay Talese's new book, The Voyeur's Hotel. The credibility of the book, which follows a self-proclaimed sex researcher who bought a hotel to spy on his guests through ventilator windows, has been called into question after Farhi uncovered problems with Talese's story.
NPR

Amid Craft Brewery Boom, Some Worry About A Bubble — But Most Just Fear Foam

Fueled by customers' unquenchable thirst for the next great flavor note, the craft beer industry has exploded like a poorly fermented bottle of home brew.
NPR

White House Documents Number Of Civilians Killed In U.S. Drone Strikes

The Obama administration issued a long awaited report Friday, documenting the number on civilians who have been accidentally killed by U.S. drone strikes. Human rights activists welcome the administration's newfound transparency, though some question whether the report goes far enough.
NPR

Tesla 'Autopilot' Crash Raises Concerns About Self-Driving Cars

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a fatal crash involving a Tesla car using the "autopilot" feature. NPR's Robert Siegel talks to Alex Davies of Wired about the crash and what it means for self-driving car technology.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.